Vietnamese Gov’t buys information denouncing corruption: Why do people not believe it and fear retaliation?

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s anti-corruption campaign has completely failed. The more he fights, the more corruption increases. The authorities punishes but the corruption of officials still does not decrease.

Facing the situation as just mentioned, Tien Phong newspaper reported on June 19, with the title “Proposal to buy anti-corruption news, maximum VND50 million/ncase.” The newsletter said that in the Draft Circular regulating the management and use of funds to serve the activities of the Steering Committee for preventing and combating corruption at all levels, the Ministry of Finance proposed funding for purchasing corruption information maximum VND50 million/case ($2,000).

Accordingly, when purchasing information, the supply source must ensure accuracy, reliability, and have enough evidence to check and verify. Depending on the content and nature of the information provided, the Central Steering Committee will decide the spending level for each specific case, and the management and use of funds for purchasing information is carried out in a confidential manner.

On social networks, many opinions say that this is not a new topic. Previously, some localities had regulations on spending levels for reporting corruption, specifically: Ho Chi Minh City with a maximum spending level of VND10 million/case; Yen Bai province has also offered a reward from VND500,000 to VND10 million/case, if used. Not to mention Directive 27 of the Secretariat and Conclusion No. 12 of the Politburo, which also encourage people to denounce, along with a commitment to protect the safety of whistleblowers.

However, a large number of comments have expressed skepticism about this policy, wondering “Is the government buying information to fight corruption, or is it trying to set a trap for whistleblowers?”

The majority of opinions still believe that people will not dare to report for fear of retaliation. For the reason that corruption in Vietnam is systematic, with links between interest groups, how can we ensure that, within the anti-corruption agency, there is no hand of corrupt officials? Therefore, when the accuser sells information, it is like they are bringing disaster upon themselves.

Talking about the current mechanism to protect corruption whistleblowers in Vietnam, lawyer Tran Quoc Thuan, former Deputy Head of the National Assembly Office, said:

“In Vietnam, there are laws for everything. Encouraging people to denounce negativity and corruption is not only regulated in documents, but also encouraged by Party and State leaders. The law also stipulates that whistleblowers are protected, but the problem is that the mechanism for protection is not very specific.”

Reality has shown that the law in Vietnam is not respected. Therefore, although the government propagates and promises to protect whistleblowers, many people who report corruption are subsequently reprimanded or retaliated against.

The clearest evidence is the case of former police captain Le Chi Thanh, for denouncing the corruption of the Supervisor of Thu Duc Prison, where Thanh worked, as well as denouncing corrupt behavior of the traffic policemen, for which Thanh was harassed, then retaliated against, leading to his imprisonment.

Specifically, Thanh was convicted of two charges and sentenced to a total of 5 years in prison, with the charges of “Resisting people performing official duties” and “Abusing democratic freedom” according to Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code.

In the past, late President of the Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu once had a famous saying “Don’t listen to what the Communists say, look at what the Communists do” and this has become a absolute truth./.


Tra My –