Graft-busters compete for best corruption warning

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 December, 2011, 12:00am


For a city inundated with kitschy public-service announcements for everything from hand washing to littering, the submissions featured in yesterday's ICAC international competition for anti-corruption adverts took on a distinctly darker tone.

In China, a small fish gets greedy, eating more and more bait until it is caught, leaving only its bones that spell out the Chinese character for greed; in Sierra Leone the hospital drugs one man sells leads to the death of his daughter; in Iraq, corruption will bring shame to your family.

In total, 29 adverts from 21 countries were judged in a ceremony at the Independent Commission Against Corruption's headquarters that featured all the drum rolls and spotlights of an Oscar night for graft-busters.

Included in the competition was Iraq, the world's fourth most corrupt place, according to Transparency International. Hong Kong, the 13th least corrupt, did not feature.

Taking home the gold was Singapore, the least corrupt place in the world according to the same index, whose 33-second adverts were high in production values.

Papua New Guinea's Ombudsman Commission received an award for excellence with its advert, put together in only seven days and at a cost of just HK$40,000.

It was the first ever anti-corruption advert from the Oceanic nation where, with 863 languages and a low literacy rate, simple mass media messages are important. The message was that corruption stems from insular communities.

Song Hansong, head of the mainland's Corruption Related Crime Prevention Department at the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said the agency, which entered six videos, was very concerned with stepping up anti-corruption efforts.

Said Song: 'Power with no supervision will easily become corrupt.'