In September 2018, seems to be a busy but fruitful month for me. Not only that I have the great opportunity to attend the 4th. International Anti-corruption Academy (IACA) Regional Summer Program (East and Southeast Asia) in Beijing, China from 9th – 16th September 2018, but also having the honour to share knowledge on ISO 37001:2016 Anti-bribery Management System and Corporate Criminal Liability at the 2nd International Anti-bribery Anti-Corruption Summit organised by Corporate Research and Investigations Group on 25th September and at the Annual Governance, Risk and Compliance Forum 2018 organised by Tricor Roots Consulting on 26th September. Both knowledge sharing events were held in Kuala Lumpur. And, for once, for eight days in the Chinese Academy of Discipline Inspection and Supervision (CADIS) facility, Beijing, it is so rewarding to sit back with fellow anti-corruption and compliance professionals and learning from the expert lecturers from East and Southeast Asia and beyond such as Austria, Germany and USA. Not only we have the opportunity to examine highly relevant regional corruption and compliance issues from variety of perspectives but also tackling regional efforts in curbing, combating and curtailing corruption, economy of corruption, corporate governance, ethics and integrity, ethical responsibility of public and private companies, asset recovery and extradition, public procurement and corruption prevention, collection action and much more. On top of that, it also a great chance to share and exchange ideas with peers from diverse countries and sectors. As I have mentioned before, Dalai Lama XIV used to say, “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” After all, knowledge increases by sharing but not by saving. Sharing my knowledge with others does not make me less important!
I would like to echo what His Excellency Ambassador La YiFan, Director General of International Cooperation, CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) / National Commission of Supervision has to share with us at IACA Regional Summer Program. He mentioned that since 2013, China President Xi Jinping has pursued a relentless campaign against corruption. The CCDI, China anti-corruption agency, has established an 8-point prohibition or policy on redressing formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance. Within these 5 years, 256,000 cases of violation of eight-point policy were investigated and some 189,000 public officials were punished. Yet, the CCDI has placed some 500,000-plus corruption investigators under stricter supervision and developing a regulation to standardise on how to handle graft probes and investigations; how to check and review cases and how to manage ill-gotten money and assets. For the first half of 2018, CCDI has punished 36,618 public officials for violating their own tough frugality rules. The most common misdemeanours among government officials were the awarding of unauthorised bonuses, the exchange of gifts, and the misuse of publicly owned vehicles. On-site inspection is considered an effective weapon for CCDI. Many corruption cases have been uncovered through thorough on-site inspection.
While CCDI is a Communist Party internal discipline body that was formed when the party took power in China in 1949. The Chinese government passed a national law and approved by the 19th National People’s Congress in 2017 to establish a National Commission of Supervision (NCS). This new Commission is placed above the current CCDI and was established in March 2018. The new NCS is meant to centralize and unify the system and make it more authoritative and efficient. The system will integrate the functions of current supervision authorities, corruption prevention agencies, as well as departments for handling bribery and dereliction of duty cases or the prevention of duty-related crimes under procuratorates at various levels in China. This NCS shall seek greater cooperation from international law enforcement bodies. One important lesson to take home from H.E. Ambassador La YiFan is that, “To be turned into iron, the metal itself must be strong!” And there shall be (a) Zero tolerance in attitude; (b) Zero loopholes in institituons; and (c) Zero barriers in cooperation. And China President Xi has warned in July 2018 that the fight against graft is not yet over. It is not just only tone from the top but also ‘conduct from the top’. Leadership by example! You don’t lead people by what you say to them; you lead them by what they see you do.