According to economist Bui Kien Thanh, corruption in Vietnam is like a virus that is more dangerous than Covid-19
Corruption in Vietnam is now like a dangerous virus with a level of dangerousness greater than Covid-19, while the “burning furnace” is only for “collecting leaves” and the Communist Party is like a “batch of apples” containing too many “rotten fruits that need to be removed,” according to an expert who has been consulting on international integration for Vietnam for many years.
Talking to BBC News Vietnamese about corruption in Vietnam, on June 7, 2021, from Hoi An, economist Bui Kien Thanh said:
“The current state of corruption in Vietnam, in my eyes, can be seen as a virus more dangerous than Covid-19.
It is raging, deeply ingrained in the political system and leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and its state agencies, from the central to local levels, without a cure, Meanwhile, the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption has no effective way to prevent or deal with it completely.
The ‘burning furnace’ of corruption in my opinion can only solve a few minor cases, such as gleaning fallen leaves at the base, or tracing leaves on the treetops, without really going deep into the root’s origin of the disease.
Currently, the Communist Party of Vietnam is like a box of apples, in which there are too many rotten fruits, if not definitely be removed, the whole box will be destroyed.
Or like a jackfruit on a tree, partially rotted by worms, if you don’t resolutely cut off the rotten part, the whole fruit will rot and fall off by itself, without the need for a ‘reactionary force.’”
How are “seeds” of corruption sown?
According to Mr. Bui Kien Thanh, the seeds from the abuse of power leading to corruption in the government and the Communist Party on a national level began right after the liberation of April 30, 1975.
Looking at the problem of corruption in the Communist Party and the current Vietnamese government as a process, Mr. Bui Kien Thanh said that there were “seeds of corruption” that were sown very early:
“The question now is whether the Communist Party of Vietnam still has the capacity to handle ‘Fighting the Epidemic like Fighting the Enemy’ in this battle against corruption?
I have not seen anyone as ‘Ho Chi Minh’ in the new era. Personally, I have commented on this issue since the early days of 2012 in the ‘Party Building Magazine,’ so nearly 10 years ago, the rotten jackfruit on the tree is entering the most critical period in the history of the Party and the situation of the development pattern of the country.
I still remember, after the day of reunification, I visited officials of the Vietnamese Embassy in Paris. Some from Quang Nam province with me, I am very grateful for the frugal lifestyle of the true communists.
The image of Ms. Nguyen Thi Binh with a simple Vietnamese ao dai, her hair in a bun like a rural woman in Dien Ban has left a very dear and affectionate image in my mind.
But not long after that, I was told by relatives in the South that the homes of thousands of families in the South had been ‘taken over’ and given to cadres and party members.
The Saigon businessman was listed as a ‘commercial bourgeoisie’ and his property was confiscated and nationalized by the state. The situation of appropriation, competition, and looting raged among some cadres in the South.
Thus, the ‘seeds’ of corruption gradually ingrained into cadres and party members. Many people who were previously loved and respected by the people, gradually turned into street-goers and fell into selfish individualism, opportunism, pragmatism, chasing after fame and fortune, money, and trumpets. tasteless, partial, corrupt, wasteful, arbitrary, unprincipled…”
“Revolutionary morality is broken, greed is born”
According to Mr. Bui Kien Thanh, the progress from the “seed to sow” has now grown into a huge problem, which has witnessed changes from within the hearts of Communist Party members and regime officials:
“Looking straight at the truth, without respect, avoiding, in my opinion, is to look at the source of corruption.
During the resistance war, life was difficult, rice was not enough to eat, clothes were not enough to wear, where did corruption come from? Until the liberation army entered Saigon, into the South, and saw first-hand the luxury of bourgeois society, greed arose and was nurtured by the promotion mechanism.
That greed overthrew the integrity and integrity of many high-ranking Party cadres, who were supposed to preserve the reputation and frugality of a revolutionary soldier’s ‘righteousness and impartiality’ gifts of tall houses and wide doors as a ‘trophy.’
Such revolutionary morality has been broken, the spirit and lifestyle of enjoyment have reigned, political ideology has declined, morality has gradually faded…, has fallen into selfish individualism, opportunism, and realism. use, run after fame and fortune.
And then? In my opinion, it is enough to talk about power corruption. A “request and give” mechanism of revolutionaries, communists, and liberators were formed, so that many party members and cadres who held monopoly positions in the state apparatus instead of serving the people had turned into corrupted officials. Is it a corruption of power and something else?
Moral degradation does not arise from individual actions, but thus from within the mechanism of generation. The disease has become critical, it is in the nature of the regime, the core of the institution, which, if not corrected, will be a challenge to the leadership of the Party and the survival of the regime.”
“No action, the party will continue to sink”
When asked how the leadership of the party and state in Vietnam today, especially the new Government and National Assembly in the new term, will handle and deal with that corruption problem and if there is any advice to make the fight against corruption more substantive and effective, Mr. Bui Kien Thanh replied:
“In my opinion, as long as the Communist Party of Vietnam does not definitively ‘Doi Moi’ in terms of state management as has been done in the economic management renovation since the VI Congress (1986), Vietnam will further immerse in an authoritarian dictatorship.”
Statistics on the number of cadres and party members disciplined in the “Burn furnace” movement in Vietnam as of 2018
“And that totalitarian regime, nothing else, is the source of corruption.
In English, there is a saying ‘Power corrupts to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ it can be inferred that power tends to corrupt, the more autocratic or absolute power is, the more corrupt it is, even more absolute.
Therefore, dictatorship is the source of all problems that hinder the progress of Vietnamese society.
As a ruling party, with a long history of declaring itself heroic, fighting for ‘the country’s Independence and Freedom against foreign invaders,’ etc., I think that now the Communist Party must also have the responsibility and bravery to transform itself to realize ‘Independence and Freedom’ and true democracy for the nation.
If the Communist Party of Vietnam does not transform itself from a silkworm, through a cocoon, and then into a butterfly to fulfill its task before history or the ‘historical mission’ it claims to be, then not only the leadership of the Party and the survival of the regime, all of which will end in the collapse like the regimes from the Soviet Union to Eastern Europe but not only will it incur the curse of the people.”