Can every country be free from corruption?

By Hassyah Abiyyu Putra

According to the data from Transparency International, Denmark and New Zealand are entitled to be the least corrupt countries in 2020. Meanwhile, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria are the three countries that ranked the highest in terms of corruption level, in other words, these countries experienced the most corruption cases in 2020.

Even though South East Asian countries like Malaysia or Indonesia does not count as the country with the highest corruption rate, that does not mean that these countries are free from corruption. So, what does Denmark or New Zealand do that the term “corruption” is not in their dictionary?

In Denmark, there is an integrated system for law enforcement. This is done to demonstrate their comprehension and commitment to eradicate corruption. However, unlike other countries, the Danish government thinks that just being free from corruption isn’t enough. So, since they will spend a lot of time at the academy (police), notably in the training area, they will spend a lot of time combating corruption.

Aside from its strong commitment to eradicate corruption, their administration office continues to strive for public transparency. Even the Danish Parliament will not offer protection to members of its council who have been implicated in acts of corruption or other criminal offences.

There are two leaders in the fight against corruption in Denmark, and surprisingly, those two are not police officers or members of anti-corruption organisations. Instead, it is the Ombudsman and financial institution auditors that hold the role in oversight.

Meanwhile, there are a number of reasons why New Zealand can defend the country against corruption. The first reason is that the country is governed by a parliamentary system where a minister is an elected member of the House of Representatives.

Following the conclusion of the discussion in parliament, the policy is promptly implemented by bureaucratic specialists in the ministry. As a result, ministers and members of parliament are unable to intervene directly in the process of implementing public policies through institutions. Its execution is in the hands of the executive.

Municipalities are responsible for administering self-government over their citizens. The system has the authority to raise taxes on its people and is run directly by an elected entity known as Municipal Council, which subsequently nominates a Mayor.

Now, it finally reaches the question, will our countries ever be as good as Denmark and New Zealand in terms of handling corruption? The answer is YES.

The real question is, “How do we do it”?

One of the ways to do it is by giving a harsh punishment to corrupt perpetrators which will have a deterrence impact. This punishment must be as harsh as possible to serve as a warning to others not to repeat the same mistake. This is because several people who committed corruption live in a fancy prison and have a short detention period compared to petty theft.

The other way is to implement moral and religious education throughout our daily lives. Moral education is a foundation that must be instilled in children from an early age.

Every human being who has received moral instruction is less likely to be lured into corrupt acts since a moral person will not act in a way that is inconsistent with justice, honesty and dignity. They are aware that their actions will cause more harm to others.

It is no secret that imparting religious beliefs may help in the abolition of corrupt practices. Every religion in theory never preached heinous actions. A person with strong faith in religion is less likely to get involved in graft activities.***

(This article is written as part of individual assignment series for Feature Writing class)

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