A former mayor who was given a suspended death sentence apologised for his corruption and offered a detailed account of his fall from grace in an interview from the hospital treating his terminal cancer. Mu Suixin said he was full of remorse as he neared the end of his life, according to Xinhua, which published an interview conducted after the former mayor of Liaoning's capital was convicted in October of accepting more than six million yuan (HK$5.66 million) in bribes and having more than two million yuan in income he could not account for. 'I have used power as a way to make money. This has sent me on to the road of death,' he said. 'I have cheated the people of Shenyang. They put so much hope in me, but my crime has brought a series of disasters to them and the city. I have abused power for personal gain.' Mu, the most senior of 23 officials arrested in a 200 million yuan corruption scandal, said he had little faith in mainland politics. 'I have come to realise that it is too difficult for a government official to overcome corruption,' he said. 'Officials have so much power that people compete to win favours from them. If there is no effective control and monitoring mechanism, corruption and decadence are bound to happen.' He said that in the beginning he had doubts whenever he received gifts or money. But the feeling of guilt eased. 'The earliest gift I received was a pack of cigarettes. I thought about it and believed it was a healthy exchange of relationships. That thought convinced me and [I] let down my guard. 'Then, when the gifts and money started to pour in, I told myself it was an indication that I was doing well in society, that I have friends.' Mu said that by 1998 bribes and favours 'had become part of my life'. 'I also regarded it as a reward I deserved for what I have done for them. The more money I received, the more I got used to it. Sometimes people asked me, what do you need so much money for? I could not exactly explain it. Now I think it is the greed,' he said. After graduating from Tsinghua University, Mu worked as an engineer for more than 10 years. His talent and diligence caught the eye of the Communist Party. As mayor, his flamboyant, no-nonsense style attracted foreign investment to the financially troubled city. 'I have a double character. I have the desire to do some good things for ordinary people. But when it came to monetary temptations, I could not seem to discipline myself according to the standard of a Communist Party member,' Mu said. Mu said he learned what bribery meant only after his arrest. 'I thought that receiving bribes meant you had to strike a dirty deal with people in advance. But for my situation, it always happened afterwards - it was always that 'friends' came to see me [and gave me money] during holidays, when I was sick or at certain occasions. I never knew it was a crime.' Mu, whom the report said appeared sick and aged, hoped his story would be a lesson to others tempted by corruption.