• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 3:28pm
NewsHong Kong

Don't take Hong Kong's graft-free culture for granted, Bernard Chan tells youth

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 April, 2014, 4:10am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 April, 2014, 6:08am

Passing on Hong Kong's largely corruption-free culture to the next generation includes fostering anti-graft awareness at the regional level, says Executive Council member Bernard Chan.

As the chairman of a committee that organises youth education campaigns for the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Chan said young people should not take for granted that the city will always be the graft-free society they have known since they were born.

"Compared with the younger generation, those from my father's generation tend to attach more importance to honesty, having grown up witnessing rampant corruption," the 49-year-old said. "Even me, not to mention today's young people, we grew up in a society that does not tolerate corruption and may easily take it for granted.

"But elsewhere, doing business sometimes means corruption," said Chan, a member of the Thai-Chinese family that founded Bangkok Bank, describing how different it is to do business in Southeast Asia.

He said Hong Kong companies have long been doing business with partners globally, and corruption cannot be prevented if only one side maintains a high level of integrity. "No matter how high a standard you have for yourself, we may still face business partners who are not the same," he said.

This would be a challenge the younger generation would face when they ascended to key positions in society in future, he added.

Referring to an ICAC-organised youth summit on Saturday, Chan said the city's youth would get a chance to discuss how they could foster a graft-free society in the region with other young people from the mainland, Thailand and Indonesia.

Organising the summit cost HK$650,000, including funding a four-day trip for 11 overseas students and financial support for local university students organising an integrity promotion campaign.


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Hong Kong indeed is free of corruption. The corruption culture has evolved for quite some time. Giving and taking cash have gone out of fashion. Besides it is so easy to be caught. The amount of money can never be compared with colossal profits when a law is passed or suppressed to the advantage of the privileged. Corruption has transformed into collusion. ICAC is not designed to handle collusion between official and the privileged. It was designed to catch officials who are on the take.
ICAC not only long past its usefulness it has obstructed Hong Kong in searching a way to handle collusion between government and the people in the property development and tourism business. The false security accorded by the continue presence of ICAC is the most insidious self-interest plot that can be devised but for certain will bring the disintegration of Hong Kong.
I like Xi Jinping to understand that fighting corruption has its usefulness but must learn too a lesson from Hong Kong. An agency billed for fighting corruption is no solution to collusion.
What graft-free culture? Only yesterday, the head of the ICAC ethics development advisory board was fired for a huge graft scandal, not to mention the growing list of recent senior administrators caught with their hand at the very least above the cookie jar.
ICAC is just the institutionalised government effort to make everyone believe that everything is alright in Hong Kong. Keep the public in a stupidly good believe with ICAC and in the background the tycoons and government officials can act without interference.
The usual fantasy-land from Bernard Chan, Exco's artist in residence. The implied self-adulation is appalling propaganda but the SCMP, his greatest fan for CE, laps up all the vacuous tripe dropping from Chan's lips. Caution: the last chairman of an ICAC focus group/committee faces serious corruption allegations even as Chairman Chan speaks. Who else is whiter than white, then?
How can Chan speak, except from a position of self-interest, on any matter financial, including insurance and MPF services, having fingers deep in both pies? Temptations abound for Mr Chan. Watch this space.
With Hong Kong being the the capital of crony capitalism and all industries and politics being well controlled by a handful of tycoons and their families, there is no need for corruption, indeed. Mr.Chan should also "educate" the youth about the economic and political fundamental of Hong Kong's society.
Bernard Chan, you are out of touch, Hong Kong's graft free culture has gone long long long time, ICAC is nothing but an international laughing stock.


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