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Chinese lawmaker proposes national anti-corruption day on Mao's birthday
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08:09, March 10, 2009

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A Chinese lawmaker has proposed making the birthday of late Chairman Mao Zedong a national anti-corruption day to remind government officials to keep their hands clean.

The anti-corruption day should fall on each year's Dec. 26, Mao's birthday, as a constant reminder of the self-disciplined practice of Communist Party and government officials in Mao's era, said Wang Jianhua, Party secretary of Shaoxing University in east China's Zhejiang Province.

Mao, who was born on Dec. 26 in 1893, was one of the founders of the People's Republic of China. Among his most remembered quotations were his words to exhort officials to preserve the style of plain living and hard work.

The establishment of the day can also help sound an alarm for those who tend to attempt bribery during the New Year and Spring Festival periods, which closely follow Dec. 26 and often see a peak of offering and accepting bribes, said Wang, who is also a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislative body.

The proposal aims to better educate officials and improve their ability to resist such illegal acts, he said.

Some corrupt officials have "rendered a negative impact on the Party's career and prestige", said Wang, who told Xinhua there's still a long way to go in building a clean government.

Wang's proposal came as other legislators urged for tightened supervision over the use of the country's 4 trillion-yuan (585 billion U.S. dollars) stimulus package, fearing corruption could arise from the massive investment.

The government must prevent corruption in the stimulus projects in an all-round way, by conducting scrutiny over the whole process of the projects and denying those with bribery records access to project bidding, said Chen Yunlong, chief procurator of the People's Procuratorate of Zhejiang Province.

The NPC will focus its supervision work this year on the stimulus package, especially the 1.8 trillion yuan funded by the central government, to ward off fund embezzlement and waste, said Gao Qiang, vice chairman of the NPC Financial and Economic Affairs Committee.

That will be achieved by carefully examine the public spending listed in the government budget to see whether it's in accordance with the need of the economy and people's aspirations, said Gao in a group interview.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday in a government work report China will strengthen its efforts to promote clean government and combat corruption, which "remains a serious problem in some localities, departments and areas."

A total of 4,960 Chinese officials above the county level were punished for corruption in a year ending November 2008.

Source: Xinhua

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