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01览:366 早报选读:李永乐--肃贪需要政治意志 作者:费言
主题:早报选读:李永乐--肃贪需要政治意志
作者:费言 1:24pm 04/06/2006

回应: 我也来喋喋不休。。。。 作者: 费言 4:07pm 02/06/2006



● 李永乐

By Lee Eng Lock

  台湾中国国民党主席马英九,日前与驻台国际媒体茶叙,席间有外国通讯社称“贪污是华人政治固有特质”,马英九不表赞同,并两次以新加坡的清廉体制为例作出驳斥。

  马英九在谈话中提到“新加坡经验”,他回忆上月初访新时,二度到贪污调查局考察,予他印象深刻的是贪污调查局的反贪第一要素:领导人的政治意志。他认为反贪能否成功,取决于领导人(对反贪)的政治意志。

  无独有偶,海峡另一端的中国大陆,就在邓小平1992年南巡讲话中,提到关于“借鉴新加坡经验”后不久,以江泽民为核心的中国第三代领导,便指示官员组团出访,考察新加坡的精神文明,考察重点之一便是廉政建设。

  两岸对新加坡经验的重视,丝毫没有“种族情结”,它们背后是许多权威调查的强有力支撑。比如瑞士洛桑国际管理与发展研究院为各国家地区廉洁水平排名,新加坡在亚洲名列第一,位居香港、日本和台湾之前;总部在柏林的国际透明机构发表的世界最廉洁地区排名,新加坡仍然列亚洲第一。

  之所以在此提出,绝非听了外人美言沾沾自喜,而是借此探索“新加坡经验”的本质,旨在关注两岸对“新加坡经验”,尤其是对反腐肃贪“精髓”的解读,作为“贪污并不是华人政治的固有特质”的旁证。

  有位中国学者吕元礼,在《深圳大学学报》2000年第5期,写了篇《新加坡廉政之道的全方位剖析》,内容总结了几条“反贪经验”,就是“使人不必贪、使人不想贪、使人不能贪、使人不敢贪”。

  这样的见解,触及了“反贪”斗争的“表层”和“中层”;马英九一再提到“领导人的政治意志”,则是深入“反贪”的“底层”,也是最根本的因素。

  领导人的决心不足,挥斩反贪的“大刀阔斧”,无法做到六亲不认,再怎样健全的体制和机构都是枉然。换句话说,领导人政治意志,是反贪肃贪成果的决定性因素,没有这个基础,中下游的一切努力都是白费气力,它与华人或任何种族,没有必然的联系。

  新加坡的廉政建设,单从学理上是难以理解的,孟德斯鸠《论法的精神》提出:“一切有权力的人都容易滥用权力,这是万古不易的一条经验。有权力的人使用权力,一直到遇有界限的地方才停止。”。新加坡执政党至今一党独大,理论上它与“有效而独立的监督”,不无矛盾之处。内部自我监督与有效监督能否划上等号?人们必然简单地加以否决。

  因此,缺乏反对党有力制衡下,执政党拥有绝对权力,却没有导致绝对的腐败,这点可说是一个奇迹。虽然新加坡领导人并不奉行政治教条,也没有旗帜鲜明的意识形态,但是以李光耀为首的第一代建国元老,穷毕生精力期望实现的最高理想,就是国家的持续繁荣与强盛。如此坚强的政治意志与信念,当然容不下任何的贪污与腐败。

·作者是本地媒体工作者。

Political will key to eliminating graft

"Corruption is inherent in politics in Chinese-dominant societies," so said a foreign journalist at a recent tea reception hosted by Kuomintang chairman Ma Ying-jeou for foreign media based in Taipei.

Mr Ma did not agree with the observation and cited Singapore's clean political system twice in his rebuttal of the view.

Referring to his "Singapore experience", Mr Ma, who was in Singapore last month, said that he visited the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau twice and was most impressed with what the bureau considers as the key factor in fighting corruption: the political will of the leadership.

Indeed, the success of anti-graft efforts depends on the political will of the leaders, said Mr Ma.

In China, soon after Deng Xiaoping spoke about "learning from Singapore's experience" during his tour of the south in 1992, the third-generation Chinese leadership with Mr Jiang Zemin at its core began sending groups of Chinese officials to study Singapore's experience, with special focus on how to develop a non-corrupt system.

That both China and Taiwan think there are valuable lessons to be learnt from Singapore has nothing to do with a sense of affinity for Singapore because most Singaporeans are Chinese.

It's because Singapore's success is well reflected in many authoritative surveys.

For example, Singapore has been ranked by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development as the least corrupt economy in Asia, ahead of Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

It has also emerged as the cleanest country in Asia in a graft index released by the Berlin-based Transparency International.

I'm not citing these to give ourselves a pat on the back, but to examine how much China and Taiwan understand from the "Singapore experience" about what it takes to root out graft as well as to prove that "corruption is not inherent in politics in Chinese-dominant societies".

The fifth issue of the Shenzhen University Journal in 2000 carried an article by Chinese academic Lu Yuanli who made a comprehensive analysis on how the Singapore government manages to keep its officers graft-free.

He concluded that under the Singapore system, officers "dare not and have no need, desire or opportunities" to take bribes.

While there is some truth in the observations, they miss the fundamental point - the "political will of the leadership" which Mr Ma had referred to repeatedly.

When leaders lack the resolve to take bold and resolute measures and are not prepared to act against their kith and kin, even the best system and organisation will serve no useful purpose.

In other words, the political will of the leadership is the deciding factor in stamping out corruption. When it is absent, any graft-fighting efforts at the lower levels will be futile. And this has no causal relationship with being Chinese or otherwise.

Singapore's success in creating a system that is free of corruption is not easily understood from a theoretical perspective.

Said political thinker Baron de Montesquieu in his book The Spirit of Laws: "But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go."

The years of one-party dominance by the ruling party is, at least in theory, in contradiction with the principle of "effective and independent checks and balances".

Can "internal self-supervision" be the same as effective supervision? The people quite simply will not think so.

Without the checks and balances by a strong opposition, it is a miracle that the absolute power enjoyed by the ruling party has not led to absolute corruption.

Singapore leaders do not adhere to political doctrines or a distinct ideology, but the first generation of founding leaders led by Mr Lee Kuan Yew are determined to realise their ambition of making and keeping Singapore as a prosperous and vibrant city-state.

With such strong political will and convictions, there is of course no place for corruption.

The writer is a journalist. Translated by Yap Gee Poh.



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费言 04/06/2006


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