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A frugal lifestyle does not mean an official is a model of honesty

Updated: 2015-04-14 08:03
(China Daily)

CAO PEIWU, AN OFFICIAL FROM THE XINJIANG Uygur autonomous region in Northwest China recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking bribes that exceeded as much as 1 million yuan ($161,000 ) at a time, was found to be leading an extremely simple life. Comments:

The cases of corrupt officials living frugally prove that neither high wages nor moral education alone can curb corruption, because corrupt officials might not need the money but they still embezzle it. The only effective way to root out corruption from the political system lies in strengthening supervision over power, so that officials no longer have the opportunity to take bribes at will.

Changsha Evening News, April 13

With corruption so rampant, an official will feel he or she has suffered much if he or she remains clean. That's partly why the officials who live frugally embezzle so much money. It is necessary to keep the high pressure on corruption and stop the disease of corruption from infecting more officials.

Beijing Youth Daily, April 13

The majority of corrupt officials caught in the ongoing anti-graft campaign have been found to have led luxurious lives. The case of Cao, and those like him, show that an official living simply might also be corrupt. What is needed is an effective property disclosure system for officials that allows the public to distinguish when an official's wealth obviously exceeds his or her legal income., April 11

Current regulations only require officials to report their property to higher authorities, which seldom check whether the information submitted by officials is true. This has made it easy for corrupt officials to conceal their property. The authorities complain they have no time to check the information; so why not make the information transparent and allow the public to supervise officials? Corrupt officials who hide behind frugal lifestyles will soon be found out.

Anhui News, April 13

Why do corrupt officials choose to lead frugal lives? Obviously, they hope to hide their illicit wealth, and enjoy it after retirement, because retired officials were seldom probed for corruption in the past. It is necessary to strengthen supervision of power even after officials retire so that such plans do not get realized., April 13

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