THE Communist Party yesterday urged members to fight in-house corruption and called for a 'rejuvenation' of ageing party membership to ensure its continued power. On the eve of the party's 65th anniversary, General Secretary Do Muoi said the party must punish corrupt members, 'whatever position they hold'. 'The Vietnam Communist Party never hides its shortcomings and often listens attentively to the ideas of the people,' he told a celebratory gathering of party chiefs, diplomats and military heads at the Vietnam-Soviet Friendship Hall. 'Along with praising the good party members we must also fight and give up the members . . . who have a bad way of living according to law - because what they do blackens the reputation of the party.' He said the party must continue to lead and serve the people, the two like 'flesh and blood' after overcoming so many difficulties. Continued strength would come from the young and a 'smooth transition' of power between generations was needed, Mr Muoi said, highlighting an issue expected to feature prominently in the run-up to the party congress next year. Official reports stated 60,000 new party members were accepted last year. Mr Muoi said the party could be proud of recent achievements, but warned many tasks still had to be fulfilled. National defence and security had to be strengthened and the country had to be hauled out of poverty 'making socialism successful'. Mr Muoi drew frequently on the thoughts of founder Ho Chi Minh to show his role as leader and server of the people. Huge red flags emblazoned with the hammer and sickle were hung around Hanoi for the event. Dance routines showing starving workers rising to become masters of the revolution were held before the speech. Meanwhile, professors at the party's political think-tank, the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy, said the new striking wave of consumption in the north was ultimately good for the economy. Dr Ho Van Vinh, head of the the Academy's Economic Management Department, stressed constant change could be expected as Vietnam remained under strong Socialist rule despite economic reform. 'We are very proud of our success in this area which many other countries have not been able to cope with,' Dr Vinh said. 'We hope our strong Socialist leadership will continue through reforms in society, in the administration and in the party. It is exactly what Ho Chi Minh wanted in order to get everybody out of poverty.'