With the best anti-corruption record compared to previous General Secretaries of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Nguyen Phu Trong is almost by default “not for profit.” Because up to now, there has been no investigation into whether the incumbent party chief is making money or not.
It’s not that Trong is not involved in corruption, but it can be said that no one dares to touch him. Usually, when the Government side controls the country’s economy, the problem of fibroids depends on policies or projects, people see it more clearly, while the Party side is more discreet, so people just don’t see it.
In this regime, no official lives on salary, including the four pillars, so there will be no pure leaders. The “innocence” that the press assumes is those who have not been exposed or will never be exposed.
During his time as Secretary of the Hanoi City Party Committee, Trong was involved in the scandal of the Ciputra project. However, that case is now too long ago, moreover, with great power like today, no one dares to bring up his old story. It’s okay if the General Secretary himself doesn’t stir up other people’s stories, but no one dares to dig up his old stories.
Trong’s time as Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee was a time when officials in the Politburo automatically enjoyed special privileges, which the law could not touch. That is a long-standing unwritten rule that no one dares to break. Only when Trong took all the power into his hands did he break that hidden rule, with the near-kill of Politburo member – Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee – Dinh La Thang. After that, there were also members of the Politburo who were forced to leave their seats, but no one was punished as harshly as Dinh La Thang.
Currently, Trong is known as “not for profit” although that is just a reputation built to polish his name. However, is Trong really not corrupt?
In fact, corruption has up to three levels.
The first type, and the type at the lowest level. These people find every way to solicit money, maybe from public funds, maybe from people’s pockets, or maybe business money. This type is extremely numerous, found everywhere. Even a small neighborhood group leader knows how to engage in this kind of corruption.
The second type is policy corruption. This type must be done at the ministerial level or higher. They make policies to benefit one or several interest groups. Then, the businesses that benefit from the policy will, in one way or another, discreetly “pay” the policy makers. Forcing people to turn their noses up to benefit Viet A, and then receive kickbacks from Phan Quoc Viet, is a form of policy corruption. Or the decision to make a rescue flight. Recently, there was a proposal to make it mandatory to install dash cams on motorbikes, which is also a type of policy corruption.
Policy corruption is widespread. However, to achieve this type of corruption, one must climb to a very high position.
However, policy corruption is not as dangerous as power corruption. Power corruption is the phenomenon of seizing power into one’s own hands, or one’s group, to abuse power. Use that power to create their own factions and strengthen their unique position. To corrupt power, one must be in the highest position, like General Secretary or Prime Minister.
If policy corruption seriously affects the economy, then power corruption can put the country at risk of losing independence. Corruption of power leads to a level of dictatorship, and from there, they decide the fate of the country according to their wishes without regard to the fate of the country and the fate of the people.
Currently, General Secretary Trong is at the highest level of corruption – that is power corruption. He himself is leading this country as he wants and ignoring the wishes of the entire people. He is currently the “final boss” of corruption, but he is still known as “not for profit.”