The Independent Commission Against Corruption said the number of corruption complaints it received from the public dropped more than 10 percent to 2,190 cases in the first 11 months this year, marking a second straight year of decline.
Democratic Party chief executive Lam Cheuk-ting, a former ICAC investigator, said the drop in the number of cases was a direct reflection of the public’s weakened confidence in the commission in fighting corruption, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
But Chow Chung-kong, chairman of the Advisory Committee on Corruption of ICAC, stressed that the number of complaints varied in the last four years.
Chow said he believes the people remain confident in the ICAC’s work as evidenced by the increased public support for the commission.
There were 107 cases under prosecution between January and November, which was more or less the same as in the previous year, while 86 percent of the cases were convicted.
The latest ICAC survey also revealed that 6.7 percent of the respondents said they were not willing to report corruption cases this year, which was 1.8 percentage points higher than in 2013 and represented a new high since 2010.
The percentage of people willing to report corruption cases was 76.7 percent this year, down from 80.6 percent last year, the survey showed.
The people’s tolerance level toward corruption was 1.0 (zero being totally intolerable and 10 being totally tolerable), which was up by 0.2 from last year.
Michael Sze Cho-cheung, chairman of the ICAC Operations Review Committee, said there is no time limit in the investigation of complaints.
He was responding to reporter’s query on the apparent lack of progress in the investigation of corruption cases filed against former ICAC chief Timothy Tong and former chief executive Donald Tsang.
Sze said the cases would not disappear as he sought to reassure the people that all complaints will be dealt with properly.
He said he was against the idea of issuing regular updates on individual cases, noting that the work of investigators should not be affected by public pressure or politics.
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