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04 June 2018

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Torrid Strait, Paul?

Whoops! Did we talk too soon?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-04/commonwealth-bank-pay-$700-million-fine-money-laundering-breach/9831064

Maybe the current Royal Commission into banking might just be the start of better things to come?

Not only are fines being ordered but jail sentences are now actually being discussed in the media.

Time will tell.

A very succinct evaluation and dissertation Phil. One can postulate that our PM and Foreign Minister are being diplomatic but they could at least in their public utterances draw the line about official corruption without singling out any one individual.

Of course look what happened recently when the intelligence community spoke out against undue political interference in Australia by foreign nations and new legislation was introduced to seemingly respond to this challenge of our sovereignty. For some reason, China arced up at that when everyone knows they pose no threat at all. We have it on their own cognizance.

Either the Australian government is content to let corruption fester along our northern border or it isn't. The silence about the issue is and has been deafening and clearly this has been noticed by others including Anwar Ibrahim.

The so called 'dash' mentality has been well known in Indonesia for decades and is an accepted way of doing business.

The problem I suspect goes far deeper than we, the public, actually realise. In Australia we have laws against public corruption but when those few culprits get caught, they always say 'Sorry'. Clearly they are actually sorry, but for getting caught.

The deconstruction and politicization of our public services was one area that helped breed a compliant view about official corruption.

When the lines between government officials and business get blurred, business 'incentives' are sought and looked for by those who have no or little experience in working for a government salary. Often these people have previous business experience or have no prior training in working for a government.

This situation is encouraged by corrupt Ministers who see how they can obtain favours by shelling out little favours further down the food chain.

The real problem is that most get away with it and that example only encourages others to follow.

The issue here is custom. Australia has never had a history of 'tipping' yet travel to the USA and try getting out of a hotel or restaurant without including a 'tip' of 10 or 15%

So when does 'tipping or dash' cross the line into official corruption? Perhaps that depends on one's perspective?

In the case of PNG, take the case of the withdrawal of Australian aid funds in providing and distributing pharmaceuticals when the contract was corruptly given to an overseas company. And that overseas company clearly had no scruples in fraudulently claiming it could deliver and then couldn't.

This was a classic case of drawing a line in the sand. Since then however, very little public effort by Australia seem to have been made to continue this initiative.

That begs the question: Why not?

Can it be that Mr Ibrahim is correct and that a regional view has emerged that 'if you can't beat em, join em'?

Whatever has happened to that defining line, previously drawn in the sands of the Torres Straight?

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