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Talking Corruption...

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Foreign companies bribe their way into China... more

** realistically and pragmatically speaking, bribe is like the grease that keeps the machinery functioning smoothly, without which, to get business done could be extremely slow and painful. The trick here is not to get caught... but, after saying all these, that does not mean I am "promoting" or condoning corrupt business practices.

Generally one can regard corruption in a developing country as a reflection/result of the low/poor remuneration the local government is paying their civil servants. It's very hard for the govt officials who are earning a pittance to process or approve contracts with value up to millions or billions whilst their efforts and contributions are not recognised or rewarded. Repeat this tens or hundreds of time, it becomes a big ask to demand such mere mortals to rise above their normal call of duty - not many can refuse the temptation of getting their "fair share" of the cake... don't believe me? Just ask those few Qland policemen!

Back in the 70's the Senior Minister of the Current Singapore govt, Harry KY Lee was wise enough to make a move to tackle the corruption (and brain drain to the private sector) in his govt - he raised the pay of all the civil servants, including the govt functional ministers to a pay level equivalent to the private sector and topped it by a further 15% (I think), depending on individual qualification and experience... with the genius of that single stroke, corruption was almost eradicated in Singapore over night.

As of today, Singapore is one of the "cleanest" govt in the world, due to the highly paid civil servant and a very severe punishment awaiting those who are tempted.

Until China can afford what the Singapore govt has done years ago and until they have reshaped their judiciary system, those foreign business entities who are seeking fortunes in China will have to learn to survive the corrupt jungle over there. For any company that is operating in China, let's be frank, if you hear them telling you they are all above board and are totally innocent... well, let's just put it another way - do you believe it - if a fly tells you it doesn't really like the taste of "sh!t"?

Sorry for the crudeness, but frankly, I much prefer to listen to an "honest corrupt business man forced by the situation" than an outright liar.

There's another news I read from Singapore, it seems if Stern Hu were found to be involved in corrupt practices in China, some US enforcement organisation may want to, or have to investigate Rio's business practice in China. Don't know how much or how valid is this view, but, the news was quoting the recent corruption case of Siemens in China.

Here are some links, better still, you do your own google search...

Siemens to pay $100 mln to fight corruption as part of World Bank settlement

Germany’s Siemens to pay euro75M to combat corruption

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