World Bank president calls corruption ‘Public Enemy No. 1’

Thursday Dec 19, 2013

WASHINGTON – The World Bank took a bold stance on fighting corruption on Thursday, with President Jim Yong Kim saying that corruption at both the public and private level is the scourge of the developing world.

The development institution, which long shied away from tackling corruption because it wanted to steer clear of politics, on Thursday said it plans to hire more experts in the rule of law and other governance issues.

Kim said corruption must be at the center of the development lender’s work.

“Every dollar that a corrupt official or a corrupt business person puts in their pocket is a dollar stolen from a pregnant woman who needs health care,” Kim said during a panel. “In the developing world, corruption is public enemy No. 1.”

The announcement shows just how much the bank has changed since the 1990s, when corruption was a taboo subject in an institution that has 188 member countries and shuns picking sides.

Former World Bank President Jim Wolfensohn brought the issue to the fore in a 1996 speech, calling corruption a “cancer” that countries must confront — despite warnings to avoid the subject.

“I said, ‘Why can’t I use the c-word?'” Wolfensohn recalled at a panel on Thursday. “And (an adviser) said, Well, half your directors represent corrupt countries.”

Philippines Finance Minister Cesar Purisima said countries need better ways of tracking the movement of funds in order to combat corruption. He suggested a “passport,” or some kind of convention to tag capital flows in order to ensure money goes where it is supposed to.

“Corruption is a very popular slogan,” he said during the panel. “The problem is in the execution.”

The World Bank’s new governance department is one of the 14 “global practices,” or technical areas, that Kim formulated in October to enable the bank to provide better technical advice to countries. Other areas include agriculture, water, trade and education.

  1. #1 by Bamboo on Saturday, 21 December 2013 - 9:46 am

    Current World Bank President has some fair sense. He is not like the elites in Malaysia, hypocritical and extremly wihtout moral and shame. The elites of Malaysia can steal public money, commits all kind of sins in Islam yet have to cheek to raise prices to increase their loot and do moral policing.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 21 December 2013 - 10:19 am

    Having travelled and worked in many poor developing countries, its not really about stealing money from the people especially the poor. The truth is our world lived through incredible technological change – the benefits STOLEN from the poor and least defensible people. Its about stealing OPPORTUNITIES OF THE FUTURE – its no different than Shylocking. Money not invested in their education, healthcare, public transport and infrastructure STEALS their future.

    In Malaysia, we see the evidence absolutely clearly – monies used to make cronies billionaires keep the masses of Malays, East Malaysians and poor Indians out of the benefits of technological and global changes.

    Its not simply irresponsible for their current misery, its theft of their future..

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Saturday, 21 December 2013 - 11:30 am

    Ai say man, here when The Heat wrote abt PeeM n his char bor’s expenditure, it was suspended “indefinitely” by d Home Ministry
    A wonderful reward for transparency
    So, WHO protects corruption in i-Melayu-1st UmnoB’s M’sia, truly malaise?

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Saturday, 21 December 2013 - 4:05 pm

    When 2 corrupt creatures meet, what else but seks
    With PornoSnake by his side, ahCheatkor has 2 give his viagra 2 d former 2 boost his flaccid organ

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Saturday, 21 December 2013 - 4:35 pm

    MCA corrupt fatty Wee tried 2 b macho n WARNED Umno leaders 2 clam up or lose Chinese votes
    Immediately he was walloped by Perlis Umno Youth chief
    Now his bola gone, he cries wee wee wee, YES MASTER, all d way home

  6. #6 by Cinapek on Sunday, 22 December 2013 - 10:44 am

    The World Bank should recruit an adviser from Malaysia. After all, we have a Govt with more five decades of experience ruling in a very corrupted environment. And our Auditor General’s report is a blueprint for any country wanting to learn about corruption.

  7. #7 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 22 December 2013 - 11:50 am

    Well, Mr. President WB, here we need leadership who is mighty good at this practice; otherwise the 47% of the population will vote against him! So that is the difference between WB Standard and Our Standard.

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