Corruptions Matters Comparison Between Hong Kong and Other International Countries essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:



No one is immune from the power of corruption. Of course there are orders of magnitude and people can be corrupted in little ways that do not seem to matter, but many times the people that are corrupted are the very ones who are supposed to be manning the public trust. The very people citizens hope are the most incorruptible are, unfortunately, the most susceptible. Lord Acton said that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority."[footnoteRef:1] Because these people have power they tend to believe that they are somehow above the law that they set for other people. Society sometimes seems to be made for the politicians and large business owners who control most of the money, or, at the very least, the access to it, but that is not the case. [1: Lord Acton, Historical Essays and Studies (The MacMillan Company, New York 1907)]

In the modern world, nations have begun to take steps to curb the power of the individual and the ability of the state to abuse the power that the people give to it. However, there are always methods for defeating any strain of law that one disagrees with. The law, in a republic, is designed to protect the people both from themselves and from one another. In fact, the only true job of government is protection of the people. A standing army provides some of this protection because the individual, in his or her freedom, does not have the individual means to protect themselves from invasion by a foreign power (for example). Thus, the government is tasked with providing the individual the protections that they cannot manifest in and of themselves. This is a central premise to the idea of republican government all the way back to Socrates. American president Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying that "Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."[footnoteRef:2] The problem with this is that while the government has this mandate, there are too many times that it is not adequately carried out because the bulk of corruption practices are somehow tied to political officials. [2: Ronald Reagan. 'Speech to the AFL-CIO Annual Conference' (National Conference of the Building and Construction Trades, AFL-CIO 1981)]

The problem then is not with an individual government or the concept of government, but with people. Just like children, sometimes people have to be told what they can and cannot do. Laws are put in place because some individuals cannot govern themselves and need further guidance to make sure that they do what is right. This paper is concerned with how corruption happens, why it happens and how it is being managed by different governments. Of course the main focus is on the government of Hong Kong and the recent corruption that has seemed to be endemic in that body. Although there are measures in place to deal with the corruption that is happening, for some reason these measures have had little consequence in some instances. The goal is to determine if the measures taken by other governments have been more effective, and to see what can be learned from them.[footnoteRef:3] [3: Fabio Mendez and Fecundo Sepulveda. 'What do we Talk About When we Talk About Corruption?' (2009) 26 JLEO 493, 514]

What is corruption

To open this topic, many questions have to be answered. The first obstacle is a clear definition of what corruption is. The Oxford Dictionary defines corrupt (of which corruption is a derivative) as:

having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain & #8230; evil or morally depraved & #8230; made unreliable by errors or alterations & #8230; in a state of decay; rotten or putrid & #8230; cause to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain & #8230; change or debase by making errors or unintentional alterations & #8230; infect; contaminate.[footnoteRef:4] [4: Corrupt (Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford 2012)]

All of these meanings have some bearing on this discussion because they all consider the term from a different standpoint. However, the most apropos is the first. Corruption in a political sense is that which acts "dishonestly for & #8230; personal gain." However there are other definitions of corruption which better fit the present discussion.

The nature of politics is that politicians seek favor from each other to get a favorite bill passed, or to garner some support for their region. This type of influence peddling is common and not seen as corruption by many in the political sphere because it stays within the walls of the legislature. However, and exact definition of what corruption is has been written into code by the United Nations. This body looks at corruption as "The misuse of public power, office or authority for private benefit -- through bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, speed money or embezzlement."[footnoteRef:5] Thus, if a politician is engaging in using his or her influence to actually assist the people of his or her district, they are not being corrupt. The only time that these actions can be considered corrupt are if there is some personal gain involved. Therein lies the problem though. [5: Jon S.T. Quah, 'Combatting Corruption in Singapore: What can be Learned?' (2001) 9 Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 29, 35]

In almost any endeavor wherein any of the above is used, there is some personal gain to be had. A legislator or executive may say that they are simply trying to gain something for their constituency, but they are likely to gain something for themselves also (such as another term in office). Using political office in any way that can be construed as personal gain is wrong. Of course, this can also be taken too far. If the politician honestly believes that they are working for the people that they represent rather for themselves (and it can be proven) then they are above reproach. Unfortunately, this type of altruistic behavior seems to be far from the norm these days. The people involved in the discussions to follow have been engaged in corrupt practices because they want to gain, on some level, something that they do not have.

The former Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, was not involved in the most recent elections that unseated him, but he was a central figure in what the elections were about. It was found that Tsang "himself had accepted favors from Hong Kong tycoons - from a special seat on their private yachts and jets to a discount price on a lavish penthouse apartment across the border in the mainland city of Shenzhen."[footnoteRef:6] He was a trusted official who had been prominent in Hong Kong politics for many years serving as Chief executive from 2005 until earlier this year. The people of the principality believed that he was working in the best interests of the province although there had been rumors of problems during his time as the Chief Executive. Unfortunately, Tsang fell under the spell of the power he wielded as much as many men and women who have come before him. He was influenced by the lure of money to give special advantage to certain businessmen. The businessmen were cited in a BBC story as "Mr. Hui, the Kwok brothers and two other businessmen face eight charges including conspiracy to offer advantages to a public servant and misconduct in public office."[footnoteRef:7] Primarily, the businessmen were asking for advance information regarding properties in Hong Kong that would be available for speculation. The businessmen sought to increase their already vast fortunes by learning what was happening ahead of time. The corruption on the part of Mr. Tsang and other government officials was to peddle the information they had access to for perks from the wealthy businessmen. [6: Kent Ewing, 'Corruption Cloud Hangs over Hong Kong' Asia Times (Hong Kong 3 April 2003)] [7: Juliana Liu, 'Thomas and Raymond Kwok Charged in Corruption Scandal' BBC News Business (London 13 July 2012]

Another scandal involved the hand-picked successor of Mr. Tsang, Henry Tang Ying-yen, who was also influenced by wealthy men and women who wanted his influence in further deals that they were considering. Tang was "favored by the business community" and he "confessed to marital infidelity during the campaign and admitted to building a massive illegal structure, dubbed an "underground palace," beneath one of his homes."[footnoteRef:8] The turnover of power between Tsang and Tang never happened because the people voted for an alternative who ran a campaign based on ensuring that the government would be incorrupt. [8: Ibid]

It may seem from the above definitions and examples that corruption itself is inherent in certain people, but it seems to be something that grows in the men and women who become corrupted rather than something that is an innate character flaw. One…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Corruptions Matters Comparison Between Hong Kong And Other International Countries" (2012, August 14) Retrieved December 9, 2016, from

"Corruptions Matters Comparison Between Hong Kong And Other International Countries" 14 August 2012. Web.9 December. 2016. <>

"Corruptions Matters Comparison Between Hong Kong And Other International Countries", 14 August 2012, Accessed.9 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Cross Border Marriages Between Hong Kong and

    (Cattelain, 1997; paraphrased) the work of Cattelain additionally states that as of the beginning of "...July, 1997, approximately 66,000 children born to couples of which one is a Hong Kong resident and one is a mainlanders were waiting to come to Hong Kong, and around 2,000-4,000 children who had entered the territory illegally or overstayed visit permits were estimated to be in Hong Kong." (Cattelain, 1997) Marriage between individuals

  • Entrepreneurial Leadership Styles Comparative

    As a result, economic development was redefined in terms of reduction or elimination of poverty, inequality, and unemployment within the perspective of a growing economy (Mamede & Davidsson, 2003). Research indicates that entreprenuership can be both the cause and effect of economic development in the sense of wealth distribution. Countries in which wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small fraction of the population face greater difficulties in coordinating

  • Poverty & Economic Development the Link Between

    Poverty & Economic Development The link between poverty and economic development The financial services sector and poverty alleviation Infrastructure Governance Trade and Investment Human Capital Trade and investment In this paper, we explore the importance of the poverty and economic development dimensions such as infrastructure, private sector development, entrepreneurship, trade and investment and human capital. This is done while keeping in mind the ethical and governance issues like accountability and fairness and their influence on economic development. The

  • Best Practices in Policing Alcohol

    Of course, it becomes a very difficult matter to overcome sparse levels of availability when they are encountered (e.g. In the more remote regions of Western Australia). Taken together, the issues suggest that the impact of availability policy on the use of alcohol may be as heterogeneous as patterns of availability themselves. The reduction of one outlet in an urban area has significantly different meaning and implications than the reduction

  • Business Environment in Taiwan

    Business Environment in Taiwan Taiwan is an island situated approximately 180 kilometers (Eastern Asia) away from southeastern coast of mainland China. Having a geographical area of 35,883 Km2, Taiwan is officially part of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) although there is much tension between Taiwan and China regarding statehood of Taiwan. The U.S. however does not acknowledge Taiwan as a separate state. Taiwan has a population of 23 million (consisting

  • Business Analysis of Singapore

    Global Business Cultural Analysis: Singapore The objective of this study is to answer the questions how the major elements and dimension of culture including religion, ethics, values, attitudes, manners, customs, social structures, and organizations integrated in Singapore by local conducting business. As well, this work will answer how these elements and dimensions compare with United States culture and business. Finally, this work will examine the implications for United States businesses that

  • Corporate Universities Investigation of Their Development

    In summary, we recommend that the IESBA reconsiders the proposals in the Exposure Draft and provides more guidance on safeguards applicable to sole practitioners and small accounting firms to ensure that the benefits of the changes outweigh the costs to SMEs. Under a principle-based approach, there should be safeguards and practical relief for all practitioners rather than rules-based outright prohibitions. The rewrite of this Independence component of the Code

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved