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Showing posts from November, 2019

Malaysia procurement plan / Myanmar upcoming elections / Indonesia laments clemency

Malaysia’s new plan to address corruption in public procurement (Video interview).  Dr Anis Yusal Yusoff, Deputy Director-General of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity & Anti-Corruption (GIACC), talks about the country’s efforts to promote integrity in public procurement.Dr. Anis Yusal Yusoff and United Nations Development Programme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f4qdRWRJZY&feature=youtu.beElections obscure Myanmar’s economic outlook (Opinion).  “Election rules also place very few restrictions on company donations to politicians, beyond a ban on donations from foreign organizations or companies. The government still has a lot to do to bring its election laws in line with the UN Convention against Corruption, which calls on states to “enhance transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and, where applicable, the funding of political parties.”Thompson Chau/Asia Times: https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/11/article/elections-obscure-myanmars-e…

Republic of Korea foreign bribery / New KickBack podcast / Thailand censure debate

Samsung Heavy Industries to pay $75M in foreign bribery case.  “Samsung Heavy Industries, a South Korea-based engineering company, will pay total criminal penalties of $75.5 million to enforcement authorities in the United States and Brazil to resolve violations arising out of a scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Brazil.Jaclyn Jaeger/Compliance Week: https://www.complianceweek.com/anti-bribery/samsung-heavy-industries-to-pay-75m-in-foreign-bribery-case/28096.articleNew Podcast, Featuring Monika Bauhr (Blog/Podcast).  Professor Bauhr discusses her research work in three key areas: (1) the impact of pro-transparency reforms (particularly the adoption of freedom of information laws) on corruption; (2) the disaggregation of the broad category “corruption” into different types of corruption (such as “need” corruption versus “greed” corruption); and (3) the relationship between gender and corruption, in particular what factors might account for the apparent…

Fair business update / Government integrity key / Indonesia revolution betrayed

UNDP Fair Biz in ASEAN Newsletter.  Check out UNDP ‘Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN’ project’s the latest updates for the period of August-November 2019, with highlights in areas of business integrity and public procurement.United Nations Development Programme: https://mailchi.mp/85dc73a7b820/fairbizinasean-11993999?e=e25eae1c8cGovernment integrity holds key to tackling corporate corruption—study.  “Financial incentives and criminal punishment will not root out corrupt business practices, but a government culture of honesty, integrity and strong leadership could help to cure corruption [according to a recent research from Birmingham Business School]”University of Birmingham/Phys.org: https://phys.org/news/2019-11-key-tackling-corporate-corruptionstudy.htmlA revolution betrayed: The tragedy of Indonesia's Jokowi (Opinion).  “Jokowi has seemingly embraced the age-old notion of "efficient corruption", which presupposes that a degree of corruption is ine…

Sri Lanka president's case / Malaysia party member / India Uttar Pradesh complaints

Corruption charges dropped as Gotabaya Rajapaksa has immunity as new Sri Lanka President.  “Corruption charges against Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa were dropped on Thursday (Nov 21) by a court, which handed his passport back as he acquired immunity from prosecution after being elected last weekend. The Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/corruption-charges-dropped-against-immune-new-sri-lanka-president-gotabaya-rajapaksaSacked allegedly for graft, Bera PKR chief claims booted out without due process.  “Zakaria Abdul Hamid, who was expelled from the PKR party for alleged corruption claims, has claimed he was not given the chance to explain himself…[although the] disciplinary board chairman Datuk Ahmad Kassim said the decision…is with immediate effect after the party received a letter from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission dated October 23 on the allegations which are said to have happened during last year’s party elections.Kenneth Lee/…

Law enforcement necessary / KickBack podcast China / Blended finance transparency

Aggressive Criminal Law Enforcement Is Insufficient to Combat Systemic Corruption. But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Necessary (Blog).  “After all, while there are plenty of punishment-focused anticorruption crackdowns that failed to produce systemic change, I can’t think of any successful efforts to get rampant corruption under control that didn’t involve a hefty dose of aggressive enforcement of the laws against corruption, including prosecution and punishment.”Matthew Stephenson/The Global Anticorruption Blog: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2019/11/19/aggressive-criminal-law-enforcement-is-insufficient-to-combat-systemic-corruption-but-that-doesnt-mean-its-not-necessary/New Podcast Episode, Featuring David Barboza (Blog/Podcast).  “Mr. Barboza [a Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times correspondent] discusses the current anticorruption drive headed by President Xi Jinping, and whether this crackdown represents a serious effort to get at the sorts of problems that Mr. Barb…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (23 November 2019): PNG, Marshall Islands, Nauru

Beyond Hong Kong: China censors freedom of expression in the Pacific. The military threat of the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army Navy in the South China Sea is well-known. Less obvious is the subversion of Pacific island Countries by exploiting corruption in their local governmentshttps://noqreport.com/2019/11/18/beyond-hong-kong-china-censors-freedom-expression-pacific/PNG:Paraka seeks to stop indictment presentation. A motion seeking to stop the Public Prosecutor from performing his function, in presenting an ex-officio indictment in court to proceed a criminal trial against the principal of Paraka lawyers, will be heard in the National court next month. http://www.looppng.com/png-news/paraka-seeks-stop-indictment-presentation-88413MARSHALL ISLANDS: Exclusion of postal votes protects integrity - Marshalls' President. The Marshall Islands President says a court decision ruling out postal voting by overseas citizens will protect the integrity of the votin…

Thailand 2020 target / London summit progress / Malaysia key pillars

Anti-graft chief sets 2020 target.  “[Thailand’s] National Anti-Counter Corruption Commission (NACC) has pledged to wrap up at least 15 corruption cases by the end of next year…several of these cases are highly controversial such as the 2013 floodwater management affair, government-to-government rice-pledging deals, temple fund embezzlement, the Rolls-Royce bribery scandal, and the Uea Arthorn Housing project.”Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/politics/1797009/anti-graft-chief-sets-2020-target‘Clusters of Progress’ in Anti-Corruption Reforms (Blog).  “Three years have passed since more than 40 countries gathered at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London and made specific pledges for tackling corruption…only 31 per cent of commitments are deemed ‘complete’.”Rose Whiffen/Transparency International: https://voices.transparency.org/clusters-of-progress-in-anti-corruption-reforms-3d24a297965b‘Being transparent and accountable are key pillars’.  “Pakatan Harapan has b…

Malaysia watchdog doubted / Indonesia political economy / Bhutan vocational curriculum

Malaysia’s Corruption Watchdog Faces Questions Over Effectiveness (Opinion).  “…how much bite the MACC has totally depends upon the attorney general who is part of the executive government. Should there be any future realignment of political parties in the parliament, the MACC as a political tool is there.”Murray Hunter/Asia Sentinel: https://www.asiasentinel.com/blog/malaysia-corruption-watchdog-effectiveness/The ‘real Jokowi’ is no corruption-buster (Editorial).  “Most international observers see the relationship between controlling corruption and boosting Indonesia’s economic performance as axiomatic…Things look different to many of the Indonesian elites [who] frame the aggressive pursuit of corrupt officials as politically disruptive.”East Asia Forum: https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2019/11/18/the-real-jokowi-is-no-corruption-buster/TVET Modular Curriculum Validation.  Bhutan’s Anti-Corruption Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources valid…

Viet Nam business associations / Malaysia helps companies / US-China FCPA case

Business associations lead way to promote business integrity in Vietnam.  In Vietnam, 11 Business Associations have officially signed the Business Integrity Pledge to uphold the core values of integrity, ethical behavior, and accountability.It is one of the key activities of the Government and Business Integrity Initiative (GBII) implemented by VCCI under the UNDP’s Regional Project “Promoting A Fair Business Environment in ASEAN”. Ngoc Thuy/Hanoi Times: http://hanoitimes.vn/business-associations-lead-way-in-promoting-business-integrity-in-vietnam-300142.htmlMACC ready to help companies identify gaps in anti-corruption plans.  “The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is prepared to help commercial organisations to identify the gaps or the uncovered areas in their anti-corruption plans ahead of the enforcement of Section 17A of the MACC Act in June next year.”Bernama: http://bernama.com/en/news.php?id=1790999U.S. charges two former Herbalife executives in China over bri…

Indonesia regional elections / Iran-China anti-corruption cooperation / Bhutan Anti-Corruption Act

Good outweighs bad in direct regional elections (Opinion).  “Nearly 15 years after the first direct regional elections were held in Indonesia, the government and the country’s biggest political parties have signaled their intention to abolish direct public participation in electing local leaders, citing high costs that could lead to increased corruption.”Karina M. Tehusijarana/The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/11/18/good-outweighs-bad-in-direct-regional-elections.htmlIran, China to broaden anti-corruption cooperation.  “In a meeting between chief of Iran’s General Inspection Organization (GIO) Hassan Darvishian and his Chinese counterpart Chen Gu Meng in Tehran, both sides laid emphasis on widening Tehran-Beijing anti-corruption cooperation.”Tehran Times: https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/442069/Iran-China-to-broaden-anti-corruption-cooperationTrongsa Court orders Anti-Corruption Act amendment.  “[Bhutan’s] court ruled that [the Anti-Corruption Commissi…

Viet Nam business integrity / Thailand constructor's shares / Sri Lanka writer stabbed

VCCI and UNDP promote business integrity in Viet Nam.  To help businesses implement the new Anti-Corruption Law, the UNDP and VCCI have developed a business integrity pledge for business associations. With this pledge, business associations commit themselves to promote business integrity and encourage their members to comply with the 2018 Anti-Corruption Law.Viet Nam News: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/538388/vcci-and-undp-promote-business-integrity-in-viet-nam.html#zRQISeQFXYwQo3C0.97Bribery Claim Sparks 23% Slump in Shares of Thai Builder.  Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction Pcl fell as much as 23%, the biggest slide since December 2006, after the National Anti-Corruption Commission said it’s seeking charges against the firm’s President Pakpoom Srichamni, and others, related to a bribe of 20 million baht ($661,000) paid to four government officials, to allow three ships to use a port the vessels were too big for.Anuchit Nguyen/Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (16 November 2019): PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu, Nauru, Samoa

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PNG:Corruption Leaders, Public Servants, Police Officers will be prosecuted, says Minister Kramer. Police minister Bryan Kramer says he will make sure all corrupt politicians, public servants and police officers whose names are on his list are brought to justice and prosecuted. https://postcourier.com.pg/corrupt-leaders-public-servants-police-officers-will-be-prosecuted-says-minister-kramer/Tactical approach deployed to pursue former PNG PM's arrest. Papua New Guinea's police minister has indicated that a new arrest warrant for former prime minister Peter O'Neill is being pursued.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/403018/tactical-approach-deployed-to-pursue-former-png-pm-s-arrestFIJI: Council Staff under radar for alleged corrupt practices. Minister Premila Kumar said was now underway to have processes done in municipal councils in a much more transparent and accountable manner. https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/11/14/council-staff-under-radar-for-alleged-co…

Malaysia government's challenge / Thailand universities assessed / Behavioral psychology podcast

Pakatan’s biggest challenge? Ending corruption and prospering Malaysians, says Anwar.  “The PKR president said one of the most “glaring” problems in the country is poverty, which is being enabled due to corrupt practices and the penchant for living lavishly that were endemic…”Soo Wern Jun/Malay Mail: https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/11/09/pakatans-biggest-challenge-ending-corruption-and-prospering-malaysians-says/1808450Top-tier unis fail to impress (Editorial).  “Considering the important role universities have in fostering education for the country's future generations, [they] are supposed to champion accountability, transparency and good governance among their students. But the 2019 Integrity and Transparency Assessment (ITA) report released by the [Thailand’s] National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has raised doubts about…public universities…which are known for their academic excellence.”Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1791689/top-…

Myanmar extractives ownership / B20 integrity prioritized / Market competition effects

Knowing who owns extractive companies will help Myanmar thrive (Opinion). “More transparency in this area can also contribute to the Myanmar government’s ongoing efforts to build a more robust business environment, improve Myanmar’s investment attractiveness and contribute to the country’s ranking in international indexes. A level playing field, reduced corruption and lowered tax-avoidance risks will ultimately benefit the citizens of Myanmar.”Aye Kyithar Swe and Matthieu Salomon/Myanmar Times:https://www.mmtimes.com/news/knowing-who-owns-extractive-companies-will-help-myanmar-thrive.html‘Integrity & compliance’ continues as a B20 priority (Blog).  “As Saudi Arabia prepares to assume the G20 presidency, the B20 – or Business 20 – has announced the creation of taskforces to address six thematic priorities in 2020. Featuring prominently this year again is the topic of integrity & compliance, alongside digitalization; energy, sustainability & climate change; finance &…

Indonesia environmental movement / Anti-corruption open science / Bhutan anti-corruption journey

Analysis: Indonesia’s best democratic instincts protected the rainforests of Aru from destruction. Now it’s democracy that needs saving (Blog).  “Today it may help focus the thoughts of the new Jokowi administration, to recognise that corruption and human rights violations could hamper its vision for economic development.” The Gecko Project: https://thegeckoproject.org/analysis-indonesias-best-democratic-instincts-protected-the-rainforests-of-aru-from-destruction-803d3b3694eOpen science in a corruption free society (Opinion).  “…even in the health sector where modern digital medical technology [is] being introduced, the negative or cancerous factor is that politicians or officials have again got involved in corruption to get kickbacks.Daily Mirror: http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/Open-science-in-a-corruption-free-society/172-177563Curbing corruption, a long journey ahead (Opinion).  “Abuse of function, embezzlement, and bribery were the top three corruption offences in the cou…

Reasons for optimism / Indonesia corruption economics / Malaysia Najib ruling

Future anti-corruption trends—four reasons to be optimistic (Blog).  “Anti-corruption experts are clear: A strong anti-corruption narrative, innovation in anti-corruption tools and new actors joining the fight are all reasons to be hopeful about the future of anti-corruption work.”Anne Wrede/Transparency International: https://voices.transparency.org/future-anti-corruption-trends-4-reasons-to-be-optimistic-21d7902f980dEconomics of corruption: How dismal science can explain graft problem (Analysis).  “To win the sequence of games, society needs a powerful anticorruption agency, like the KPK. Mitigating corruption also requires behavioral approaches that make use of psychological insights about how individuals make choices.”Fajar Hidayat/The Jakarta Post: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/11/06/economics-corruption-how-dismal-science-can-explain-graft-problem.htmlGraft ruling for Malaysian ex-leader a test for government.  “An important court ruling Monday in the first co…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (9 November 2019): PNG, Fiji, Tonga

PNG:Manus, Maseratis and corruption: Peter O'Neill on eight years leading Papua New Guinea. For a former prime minister with a warrant out for his arrest and allegations of official corruption hanging over his head, Peter O’Neill is quite calm.https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/06/manus-maseratis-and-corruption-peter-oneill-on-eight-years-leading-papua-new-guineaMeasures to raise efficiency in police probes and prosecutions. Police have been losing too many criminal cases in courts in the last two decades. The National’s senior reporter Clifford Faiparik talks to Crime Division Asst Comm (ACP) Hodge Ette on his plans to revamp and raise efficiency in police investigations and prosecutions.https://www.thenational.com.pg/measures-to-raise-efficiency-in-%E2%80%89police-probes-and-prosecutions/FIJI: Plea deferred for 2 women facing fraud and dishonesty charges. Two women, who managed postal agencies for Post Fiji Limited will take their plea for charges of fraud and dish…

Myanmar labor attache / Indonesia lowered expectations / Malaysia punishment review

Myanmar Labor Attaché in Thailand Charged with Corruption. Myanmar labor attaché U San Maung Oo, who represented migrants in Thailand, has been charged by the Anti-Corruption Commission of Myanmar (ACC) for asking for about 4.4 million Thai baht (US$144,000) from 28 overseas employment agencies in exchange for approving labor demand letters and for sending workers to recruitment agencies.Zaw Zaw Htwe/The Irrawaddy: https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-labor-attache-thailand-charged-corruption.htmlIndonesia Analysts Lower Expectations for Jokowi’s Second Term.  “Backtracking on corruption is all the more stark because Indonesia has been a “beacon of progress” among Southeast Asian democracies, according to the Lowy Institute.Ha Nguyen/VoA News: https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/indonesia-analysts-lower-expectations-jokowis-second-termReview punishment for graft (Opinion). “Punishment for corruption cases should be reviewed with a view to enhance it. This could inc…

Malaysia Ombudsman green-light / Myanmar EOB ranking / Ethical business shines

Putrajaya green-lights Ombudsman Malaysia, Law Commission.  Malaysia government gave the go-ahead for the setting up of the Ombudsman Malaysia, which is poised to replace the Public Complaints Bureau (BPA).Free Malaysia Today: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/11/01/putrajaya-green-lights-ombudsman-malaysia-law-commission/Myanmar moves up in the Ease of Doing Business rankings.  The World Bank report pointed out that Myanmar showed substantial improvements in five areas of doing business—starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, protecting minority investors, and enforcing contracts.Mizzima: http://www.mizzima.com/article/myanmar-moves-ease-doing-business-rankingsBeing an Ethical Business in a Corrupt Environment.  “...ethical behavior is more noticeable in corrupt environments than it would be in ethical ones; it is easier for an ethical company to stand out in a corrupt environment.”S. Ramakrishna Velamuri, William S. Har…

Corruption research challenges / Indonesia public information / Bangladesh RTI use

The challenges in researching enablers of the corrupt (Blog).  “Research conducted…suggests that real estate agents and solicitors are not filing enough [Suspicious Activity Reports] when suspicion exists, either because of a lack of knowledge of the law (which appears to be more common with real estate agents) and/or a lack of supervision and enforcement of the law in regulated sectors. This lack of supervision has resulted in very few prosecutions of individuals for a failure to report money-laundering concerns.”Tom Mayne/Anti-Corruption Evidence: https://ace.globalintegrity.org/enablers/Empowering citizens with information: improving access to social assistance in Indonesia (Brief).  “Providing information to people on benefits that they are entitled to through official channels like government ID cards can help balance the power between citizens and local officials, reducing opportunities for corruption and increasing access to social services.”Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Ac…

Thailand SEA-PAC Meeting / Malaysia 1MDB deal / Informal network research

NACC Hosts 15th South East Asia Parties Against Corruption (SEA-PAC) Principals Meeting in Bangkok.  The National Anti-Corruption Commission of Thailand (NACC) hosted the 15th South East Asia Parties Against Corruption (SEA-PAC) Principals Meeting and related workshops at the Royal Orchid Sheraton in Bangkok during 8-10 October 2019. The meeting offered the platform for all the ten SEA-PAC delegations to present their respective progress in anti-corruption implementation. SEA-PAC Action Plan for 2020-22 has been adopted and topics on Denying Safe Haven to Corrupt Officials and Stolen Assets, and Effective Anti-Bribery Measures for Private Sector to Prevent Bribery of Public Officials were discussed. Moreover, the SEA-PAC members jointly agreed to change the group’s name from SEA-PAC (South East Asia Parties Against Corruption) to ASEAN-PAC (ASEAN Parties Against Corruption) to reflect its status as an entity associated with ASEAN. NACC: https://www.nacc.go.th/ewt_news.php?nid=…

Pacific Anti-Corruption Updates (3 November 2019): PNG

PNG: Corruption calls in PNG lack backing. The Phone Against Corruption initiative introduced by the Papua New Guinea Finance Department will be transferred to an independent body such as the Independent Coalition Against Corruption (ICAC) when established.https://www.onepng.com/2019/10/corruption-calls-in-png-lack-backing.htmlPNG police withdraw former PM's arrest warrant. Police in Papua New Guinea have withdrawn their arrest warrant against the former prime minister, Peter O'Neill.https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/402205/png-police-withdraw-former-pm-s-arrest-warrantTo know more about the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project please contact the team members:Annika Wythes, Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, UNODC, annika.wythes@un.orgMarine Destrez, Anti-Corruption Specialist – Pacific a.i., UNDP, marine.destrez@undp.orgMaria Lee, Peace & Development Administrative Assistant, UNDP/UNODC, maria.lee@und-p.org

Myanmar Chinese construction / Malaysia politician case / India youth entreated

Internationally Scandal-Tainted Chinese Company Working on Second Yangon Project.  “China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), a Chinese state-owned company that has attracted controversy for its involvement in alleged fraud, corruption and bribery in many countries, is undertaking an extension project for a four-star international hotel in Yangon.”The Irrawaddy: https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/internationally-scandal-tainted-chinese-company-working-second-yangon-project.htmlAs Nasharudin stands trial for corruption, pundits see PAS unscathed by scandal.  “PAS [Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party] is likely to emerge unhurt by the scandal that has erupted around its former deputy president Datuk Nasharudin Mat Isa, who will likely be seen as yet another victim of a vindictive government bent on crucifying anyone seen close to the previous regime, political analysts said.Syed Jaymal Zahiid/Malay Mail: https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/10/28/as-nasharudin-stands-t…

Republic of Korea anti-corruption body / India-China strong leaders / Indonesia Jakarta budget

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Subject: [ap-intact] Republic of Korea anti-corruption body / India-China strong leaders / Indonesia Jakarta budget Follow AP-INTACT on Twitter (https://twitter.com/apintactnetwork) and find the news archive on Blogger (http://newsbin-apintact.blogspot.com/)
If a link below does not work, please copy and paste the link into your browser’s address bar instead. Anti-corruption body now key political battleground (Opinion). “legislators across the aisle do not see eye-to-eye on the proposed independent anti-corruption body and more broadly, how to achieve prosecutorial reforms.”Choi Si-young/The Korea Herald: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20191027000183Is a strong leader enough to fight corruption? Evidence from India and China (Opinion).  “A single leader in big countries like India and China can only execute at a centrali…

Republic of Korea anti-corruption body / India-China strong leaders / Indonesia Jakarta budget

Anti-corruption body now key political battleground (Opinion). “legislators across the aisle do not see eye-to-eye on the proposed independent anti-corruption body and more broadly, how to achieve prosecutorial reforms.”Choi Si-young/The Korea Herald: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20191027000183Is a strong leader enough to fight corruption? Evidence from India and China (Opinion).  “A single leader in big countries like India and China can only execute at a centralised level. The support and commitment of the regional leaders in the same direction would make the change more effective.”Wu Alfred Muluan and Lina Vyas/Global-is-Asian: https://www.coindesk.com/ey-launches-blockchain-tool-to-help-bring-accountability-to-public-financesRp 82 billion to buy glue: Jakarta’s draft 2020 budget raises eyebrows. The Jakarta administration’s 2020 budget draft has caused a stir among the public after it was revealed that it had allocated Rp 82.8 billion (US$5.9 million) to purchase m…