Does “strong government” mean an uncorrupt one or one that can prevent corruption?
No country in the world is free from corruption. A strong government will have proper policies to minimize corruption and losses. It is not a government without weakness but one that looks forward and renovates.
Successful nations in Southeast Asia have proved that strong governments were necessary to reduce negative phenomena in the process of development and to record achievements.
A strong government must meet three criteria: It should have a vision and devise policies, create highly professional bodies, and have a sense of justice to fairly distribute the benefits from economic growth for human development.
If assessed by these criteria, is Viet Nam’s Government a strong one?
Vietnam has made some headway in the first criterion. Although the process of shifting to a market economy in Vietnam has given rise to many shortcomings, the Government’s achievements in creating policies have reflected its strength and speeded up the country’s economic growth.
The Government is still weak in terms of having highly professional organs. This is because professionalism relates to human and the mechanism of the state apparatus among other factors. This is a weakness which we have to overcome soon.
The country’s weaknesses in professionalism was evidenced clearly over the last five years with administrative reforms lagging or even failing in certain aspects.
Regarding the third criterion, Vietnam’s Government is strong and has recorded achievements in hunger eradication and poverty reductions as well as in implementing the UN-set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But unfortunately, corruption in Vietnam is still severe.
Therefore, it can be said that the Government is strong in some aspects but weak in other fields.
What are the urgent tasks required to create a strong government as desired by the people?
A strong Government is never a corrupt one or one that does not let corruption develop. So obviously, the urgent task for the Government is to reform its organs and create policies to strictly and effectively prevent and fight corruption.
If this task is fulfilled, the Government will garner the trust and faith of people and help the country prosper.
Vietnam News dated 13 May 2006