3 Ways How People Unintentionally Nurtured Corruption in Their Governments

Translation: "We pay tax not for YOU!"

Corruption is all the rage today. No country is unrelated to corruption. It is a disgraceful act which makes everyone pay the effects. Weakening economy, poor public facility quality, social and economical gap, and many other.
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Often, people criticize their governments heavily, whether for being unable to fight corruption, or being the source of corruption itself. But, only a few people realize that they also take part in establishing a society where corruption nurtured healthily.
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How People Unintentionally Nurtured Corruption
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  1. Corruption in the Private Sector
    According to Transparency International’s report in 2011, from over 2,700 business executives in 26 countries, 2 out of 5 admitted had bribed governmental bodies multiple times when they have to relate with them. Business experts calculated that corruptions had added project expenses from 10-25%.
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    The effects are terrifying. Not only this practice will cause unhealthy competition and unfair prices, it will also let the corrupt governmental bodies flourish. Furthermore, the largest bribers in private bodies will also be able to affect how the government works. The policies they make will not be democratic and just, because they already sided with the largest bribers. This, in turn, will weaken economy and weaken the government’s legitimacy.
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  2. Some of our voices actually push corruptions sometimes

    Not all politicans are like that, though! There are still also a lot of clean and good politicians sincerely trying to fix our countries. Credits to alancs85 at 9gag for this picture.

    During pre-election periods, dozens of parties spend tens of billions for their campaigns. This money is used for various things: campaign cost, getting political supports, success team cost, and last but not least: “buying” people’s votes. Hundreds or maybe thousands of people are paid to choose the reps from that party in the election.
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    Without the last part, it is impossible for any party to get in into the governmental body honestly. So, when they finally get into the government, they need to offset their previous expenses. Problem is, their official paychecks even until their positions expire is not enough to balance it. As a result, their only way is to corrupt the money which is not theirs.
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    In other words, as long as we’re still selling our votes in election, it means we’re driving the corruption level higher and higher.
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  3. Many contractors actively cooperate with corrupt bodies for corruption
    The most frequently used “mask” or “cover” the government use for corruptions is the construction of public facilities. Their primary modus is to abuse the budget by giving fictive aids, inflating prices of raw materials, and change the technical specifications in the procurement of goodsand services.
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    So, how do contractors increase corruption? The relation is  quite visible at this point. Inflating price of raw materials, changing technical specifications… Those things can not succeed without cooperation from the contractors!
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    In other words, behind every corruption in the construction, there will be a contractor or two — or in some cases, include the architects themselves — behind it. Then more problems arise. People’s rights for public facilities with good quality has been sacrificed. Moreover, these actions will cause an echo to fellow contractors / architects and the governmental bodies. To the contractors, only a rare few will resist the temptation of easy money, thus encouraging them to do the same. And to the governmental bodies, they will learn that construction is an ideal field to reap some money.
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What We Can do
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  1. Sorry, my vote is not for sale
    Don’t let them bribe you! By allowing corrupt political parties to “buy” your vote in an election, you are actually paving their way into the government, where they will perform corruption to offset their previous expense and in turn, covering your country in more shit.
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    Show them that we don’t sell our votes. It is not a hard thing to do and it is easy to spread this to other people. This way, the corrupt parties won’t get into the government that easily!
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  2. My business goes better when we have honest people
    Don’t bribe governmental bodies when you have to relate with them in your business. Aside from nurturing the corrupt culture, your company will also lose credibility of the people acquainted to it — your workers, your investors, and especially, customers.
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    By making honesty a primary fuel in your business, you won’t only erode corruption, but you will also gain more trust and respect. Your workers will be motivated to work better because they have such a great boss like you, and customers will feel happier when buying your products / services.
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  3. Glad to have you in the Integrity Circle!
    Positive habits are contagious. You can start becoming the foundation of an honest society by making an integrity circle with your like-minded workers or co-workers.
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    Each member makes a pact with all the others that he/she will not be involved in corrupt activities and will support each other if anyone has any problems over this refusal. Declare your office a ‘Corruption-free zone.’ You can also put up signs saying ‘Please do not offer bribes — we do not accept them‘ or ‘Bribes are unnecessary — we are paid by the state to serve you.
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    Not only it will encourage honesty to your circle, it will also inspire customers. It is also an excellent method in voicing anti-corruption.
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  4. Sorry, my bad. Where is my punishment?
    Police officers have also been one of the prominent players in corruption, albeit in smaller scale (but the same – if not larger – in quantity!). Their primary targets are light offenders in the road. Most of the times, your offense to traffic rules are so small that the punishments aren’t very considerable, thus, the police stopping your car will ask you to bribe them for letting you go.
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    Don’t bribe them! Instead, ask them for your ticket. For example, in my country of Indonesia, you will be given a blue ticket for admitting your charges. Then, you will have to pay a little fine to the national account, then bring back the transfer receipt to reclaim your driving license. It is indeed a little troublesome, but now you know that your money goes into the national fund. Not corrupted by some random policemen. (The amount of money isn’t large either, for a small offense. Don’t have to sweat it). If you choose to bribe them, you will instead make a culture where corruption nurtured. Don’t let that happen.
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    By the way, you can tell easily if a police officer has a bad intention or not when they keep offering you to bribe them even after you asked for your ticket.
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    This is a bad example!

  5. Show your voice through your creativity
    You can do many things! Making posters, short animations, short movies, or even a music — to voice anti-corruption! These form of arts are actually very effective. It raises public awareness AND light up the righteous spirit within people.
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    For fellow Indonesian, you must be familiar to the satirical song Andai Ku Gayus Tambunan. That’s a brilliant example how we can use our creativity to voice anti-corruption. There’s also an annual festival of arts which voice anti-corruption, called SPEAKFEST. Here’s a little article about their recent event in 2011.
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  6. Last but not least, Report!
    Nothing serves as a better shock therapy other than a proper punishment. Whenever you see a governmental official or body is offering you or other people to cooperate in their corruption, report them to the officials. I’m quite sure every country has at least one powerful body that is dedicated to fight corruption. Let them uphold justice.
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That’s it for now.

Corruption is already one of the first world problems, but if we truly begin from ourselves and tackle the issue one at a time, slowly but surely, things will change. (Remember, good habits are contagious!)

I’m glad to have known a great person like you. Yes, you, the one who’s currently reading this. Let’s change things by beginning from ourselves.

See you next time and have a good day! 😀

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17 thoughts on “3 Ways How People Unintentionally Nurtured Corruption in Their Governments

  1. Indonesia needs more people like you.

    It is indeed true what you stated on this article. Though, it will be impossible (K, not impossible, but will be very hard indeed) to completely remove corruption from a country that has a long history with it. It’s like, the activity of corruption itself is already one with the root of the country.

    But oh well, trying won’t hurt. And just as you say, good habits are contagious. All we could do for now is change ourself and reject any kind of corruption. Hopefully it could bring this country to a better one… Little by little.

    • I am well aware that — completely eliminating corruption might not be possible, but we can push it into a very small number; corner them. It’s like how we use soap to clean our hands — It will not kill every single bacteria, but it makes things cleaner and better, significantly.

      I actually also have some realistic proofs that we CAN really corner corruption to the edges, in case someone ask for it. I just want people to believe we can change things and we should not just stand still and do nothing, watching all the shouldn’t-be’s around us 🙂

  2. Kevin, you always make me jealous when I finished reading your articles because you always make a very good article in English, that I can’t make 😛

    Addition from me. If you want to change your country towards a better, start it from the small things, start it right now, start it from your self

  3. Nice article and nice observation 🙂
    I’m 100% agree with this, and maybe just want to add some things 🙂

    First of all, corruption is not always about money. It is also about time. When you make promise to someone, and you’re late, in my opinion, it could be called corruption as well. Why ? One, it makes your friend wasting his/her time waiting you. And also, you’re disrespecting him/her.

    Corruption is also about cheating. When you’re cheating in exam, you’re stealing your friend’s knowledge in a wrong way. The same goes to plagiarism.

    Maybe I’m called an utopist if I say that the world can freed itself rom corruption. But, we MUST do our best, at least starting from ourself, to stop corruption. No late, no cheating, no bribing. Everything starts from an easy way and sounds “nah, it’s just that” until it turs to something bigger and bigger, and before you realize it, it’ll become something that is impossible to fix.

    And why am I said it’s impossible ? It happens when our mind and heart are already corrupted, and we said to ourself “It’s fine doing this. Whats wrong ? Everyone does the same thing”.

    We, humans, are chained by something called “sin”. But don’t use it as a legitimation when we’re doing something wrong. Instead, we need to make ourself a better person each day. Learn from the past, run towards the future.

    • Thanks a lot for the feedback and the amazing inspirational reply.

      That’s true, I agree with you, especially with the fourth paragraph. Constant permissive culture towards negative actions will slowly make that “negative” action “standard,” and before we realize, our world (or at least, society) is already in a nasty mess.

      Here, I would like to emphasize to people that might read this comment that, Permissiveness is different than Tolerance. Tolerance brings benefits, or in the worst case scenario — bring nothing. But on the other hand, constant Permissiveness will nurture negative cultures and makes your society nasty.

      Lastly, I love your last paragraph. Thank you for the reply and have a good day.

  4. Indonesian politics is already too mess-up… if you really want to repair it the only way is to do coup d’etat, since the corruption in Indonesian politics is already rotten to the root…

    Also although this really going to go out of topic (which mean it didn’t related to this post) but politic is something that we know as “the Art of Gray”, you can’t say something is wrong or right in the politics… but surely our people misunderstand this deinition of “the Art of Gray”…

    • ah one more thing, please don’t write that vicious cycle as “the cycle of politics”, it kinda offense to those who work as a politician… not all politician is a corruptor you know, but you make it looks like all politician is a corruptor.

      • Thank you for your feedback. It’s true that not all politicians are like that, so I gave a little note at the caption of the image to clarify that and prevent stereotyping.

        Moving on to your first argument, I admit that in the PAST, I used to think that we need a coup. But, will a coup d’etat solve problems? Soeharto was brought down with a semi-coup, leaving the government led by Habibie weak and not solid. As result, there wasn’t significant improves in Indonesia’s condition — outside of the freedom of speech.

        Compare it with Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s early years as the president. He stayed true to his promises to fight corruption, and as a result, KPK did a significant increase in prowess within 2009, far far better than their previous years. Even when some conspiracies done by corrupt bodies try to weaken them, the People supported KPK and thwarted half of the conspiracy’s plan, saving KPK from losing significant impairment to their powers. Although SBY’s prowess seem to lessen now, in his 2nd period as president, it is still a thing to remember, that people can also change things without violence.

        Let’s start from ourselves, because if we don’t, no one will.

        Thanks again for your opinion and have a good day.

        • Well not that i disagree with you, but as a matter of fact, you can’t clean the floor with a dirty broom. What i want to imply in here is, how can we expect to believe that KPK itself is clean? Is there any proof that can tell that KPK is clean? No we didn’t had… who knows that there’s someone in KPK who was a corruptor or not… but yes, right now we can’t do anything about it, what we can do is study, study, and study untill the right time comes to overtake the position for the corrupted higher-ups and from there we might be had a chance to change this country.

    • Yes, exactly what i thought while reading this article.

      The fastest way right now is, well, we need a chaos to make all the higher-ups lose their position and new generations like you to lead us.

  5. IMHO basically people participate in “corruption” is because they have to do it to be able to easily survive in society. Note that I put corruption in quotation mark because most, if not all of these acts are already justified by our society.

    Derp: “Dude, what if the police show up there?”
    Herp: “Chill, we just pay him.”

    A small example on how it’s already being seen as the right thing to do.

    Another example is that if you start a little company and you need permissions to make this and that. Either you wait for several months, probably a year, for the permission to come out, or bribe your way. If that example isn’t enough, try asking the society what is the best way to get a driving license.

    Just like in school, where if you don’t do some bad things, the other students will look down on you, the same goes for the society.

    Yes, our society is corrupt.

    It’s good to have a righteous mind, but being inflexible will make life harder for yourself. Going against the society is a “Quest” rarely accepted by anyone, and even more rarely accomplished. And if we are planning to, be ready to be hated and looked down silly by others. It’s never about the process anyway, it’s always about the result.

    Lastly, to actually fix how the society is right now, we have to do it like we clean a totally messed-up room. Empty it first, discard everything unnecessary, then sort everything in their place. Some people only lives to make the society worse anyway.

    I’m not being negative about this. If we want to make something corruption-free, we can make at least our own community like that. Be flexible, be a magnificent bastard to control your community in the way you want it.

    Well, that’s it for my thoughts :v

    • Thank you for your comment.

      Well, that’s true, I am aware that many people do bad habits to survive in the already-bad society, but things can be changed if everyone starts from theirselves. The question is, who will? I will. I bet some people will. But we need more.

      It’s similar to how you say we must first “discard everything unnecessary,” we need almost everyone. But the difference is, instead of “purging” the bad ones, we can change the ones in grey area to white area, thus evolving society. That’s why, we need more people to lead other people, more people to give good example to other people, and more people to start changing things from themselves.

      There are examples that show that people are not completely vulnerable to their governments.

      I’ll show an example that is non-violent.

      In Indonesia, 2010, there were a series of conspiracies among corrupt governmental bodies to “criminalize” Bibit Chandra, a higher-up at KPK to weaken the power KPK had as the anti-corruption body (following KPK’s great success in 2009 for catching and arresting a whole lot of high corruptors). However, the people saw that the series were just conspiracies to weaken anti-corruption force, so the people showed their support to KPK through Facebook groups and mass media’s coverages, with their slogan “Love Indonesia, Love KPK.”

      What was the result? The corrupt officials which orchestrated the conspiracy were forced to stop their actions and finally released Bibit Chandra. Furthermore, the president also made Team Eight to resolve the matter and stop the conspiracies, which resulted in a success.

      So, let’s imagine… What if, for each time someone is offered or forced by an official to bribe them, the person instead reports them to KPK or Court? We could have hauled enough people to increase Indonesia’s score in the Corruption Perspective Index (a number to show how well a country is fighting corruption, hold annually by Transparency International).

      Then some people might ask or think, “We’re still not enough!”

      That’s why I stated above, we need more people to lead other people, more people to show good examples, and more people to start from themselves. We need YOU. If a group of hungry and tired people are waiting for other people to cook for them but no one does the cooking, they all will starve in their unwillingness to change. The same applies here, and in other social issues. If you’re just waiting for other people but we don’t start from ourselves, things will never change.

      • That’s exactly why I’m determined to do things with the same goal, but maybe different way from yours.

        For who I am right now, I’m yet to make big changes. That’s why I’ll work my way up, clean or not, to become someone influential enough so I can actually get people to change. I’ll do the cooking after I’m able to cook for everyone.

        • That’s great to hear.

          People have different ways to do things; as long as you’re still in the right path, it’s great to see someone wanting to change things to the better.

          I’m sure you can do it, you have what it takes for that. Best wishes.

      • It’s easy to say that we can move the people in the gray area to the white area, but it’s not as simple as that, like i said in my comment up above, politics is “the Art of Gray” is hard to tell wether some policy is right or just wrong. What i mean is, some people might think right now that some policy are mere wrong, but who knows that in the future that very policy will turn to be the righteous one? Or the vice versa, some people might think that some policy is good/right, but then later it is revealed that the policy itself is really wrong in some aspect… not just the policy, we can also talk about the people. People might say that “A” as a politician was a good politician because his behaviour, etc. But then this “A” make a little mistake, the stream of people will judge him wrong by this mistake, the same thing also work if there’s “B” who did wrong in his time, but then when his times are over, people might think that what “B” did is actually gave something to this country… anyway in tl;dr Politics isn’t a simple matter of wrong or right… it’s a really dept matter…

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