Published September 17, 2010
Anaconda is the name for a giant snake inhabiting in jungles of Amazon in South America, which is almost twenty feet long and over 200 pounds weight.
They kill their prey by coiling their large, powerful bodies around their victims and squeezing until their prey suffocates or is crushed to death and dies from internal bleeding. Then the snake unhinges its jaw and swallows the victim whole. The Anaconda that have already accustomed in Mongolia and that coiled around almost all dignitaries in power, is the corruption. It is an emerging necessity for citizens to understand what this terrified corruption exactly is it, where and why it did come from, what consequences does it have and how to protect from it.
Corruption is defined as “misuse of power entrusted by others for a private interest or gain”. In some countries, the corruption also means the loss of “arm’s length principle”. This principle is about a private or public official in any way being free from any influence by his own and family interests in making any economic decision.
In 2009 Mongolia shared the 120th place together with Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Vietnam, out of surveyed 180 countries in the world, according to an international organization that measures corruption level around the world. Five years ago, Mongolia was ranked at 90th when was officially measured for the first time. Means we are slipping backwards at high speed. Both current and former presidents, cabinet ministers, parliament members all talk about how the corruption has penetrated deep into every ramus of central and local administration. But any of government officials has never been charged or sentenced for corruption-related crimes so far. The subject without a person and illusion called ‘corruption’ is wandering around Mongolia.
Journalists have been writing every day about the fact that all business such as getting and extending licenses and permits of mineral exploration and exploitation, construction licenses in Ulaanbaatar City, enrolling to domestic and foreign schools, appointment to a position especially in taxation and customs, winning tender bids and any business by which can make black money, can no longer succeed without the corruption. But they do not so often write about the damages the corruption is causing to economy of the country.
The corruption weakens the competitiveness of that industry and encourages private companies compete each other not by their new product and service offers and skills but by their links with decision making politicians, in order to cut their expenses and costs. The corruption money enlarges and expands shadow economy, increases the amount of cash not transferred through banks and slows down money circulation. Higher the money earned by means of corruption, higher the irresponsible spending and higher the too luxury and one-time consumptions.
Politicians are not eager to tax the income earned from reselling mineral licenses, for a simple reason that they are involved in such business. They finance politicians, political parties and others from such incomes, in order to get political protection. Such attitude has become an emerging “fashion trend” or a new political-business model over the past. Corruptors may be happy for today that they still can protect their private interests. Indeed they are digging holes to bury themselves, from a long perspective. Because the corruptors have no idea about the real value of money and hanker after wealth excessively. In next rounds of corruption they will demand more and more money, which is affordable by only those richer and bigger than you. As time goes by, the rate of corruption will be hiking faster than our economy and as the time comes when even the biggest and richest domestic company cannot afford that, only huge foreign money will decide everything. Time will come when Mongolian companies would go bankrupt one by one beginning from small and middle ones and ending big ones and join demonstrations hosted by those civil movements, at whom they are laughing at now today.
That time next generations of even bigger corruptors would trade at higher prices and would keep under their control and rule not only a single industry but whole country. There is an unwritten law that the corrupted government gets bigger and bigger. According to Parkinson law, a weak official employs two subordinates weaker than himself, because they build their administration not according to skills but to the amount of corruption.
Such a governance attitude is repeated downwards, multiplying weak subordinates. Further, state budget money would be more spend for adding the staff of police and troops and for buying the latest and most expensive weapons and equipments, taking more care of protecting the corruptors on the name of state. The Government would take care not of its concept but of appearance and color and vehicles and consumption of top officials would be dramatically luxurious even presidents of Big Eight would feel jealous. They would not stop to increase tax rates in order to finance all these luxurious expenses, leading to bankrupt of private companies, who would remain only on paper. Though it is possible to incorporate a company, you cannot liquidate it.
Since the government would no longer be able to do anything except corruption, the economy and livelihood of citizens get even worse together, the ordinary people first would go out on streets to demonstrate and then would trespass upon the property of others, leading to mass disorder. Thousands of people would lose jobs and starve. Crimes would grow, causing instability in the country.
The nation would be desperate to the end and suffocates to death. This is the Anaconda or the Anatomy of Mongolian corruption. The rest is a history. If you want to see exactly such history, you study Uganda, Ethiopia, Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, Argentina, Paraguay and many other countries, who are suffocated by Anaconda despite their rich natural minerals.
Some of leaders who ruled these countrieslive in luxurious comfortable houses bought by the money transferred to western countries which are peaceful and respect law and order, while some of them were killed by next dictators.
Should we become a prey of Anaconda not doing anything? Isn’t it unacceptable that we let few greedy and vulpine people play with our beautiful country? It is time to install the art of hating the corruption into consciousness of Mongolian society.
Translated by P.Shinee