Monday, July 20, 2009



Well, it stands for that as a movie title which talks about the history of ICAC, which is actually Independent Commission Against Corruption, a Hong Kong establishment by Governor Murray MacLehose on 15 February 1974. Hong Kong was still under British rule then and this commission aims to clean up corruption in the government and the Royal Hong Kong Police Force.

The film is more like a documentary with some action storyline about those years in the 1960s and 1970s Hong Kong where the gangsters and criminals ruled the streets as the police had to follow their orders. 90% of the police were corrupt as mentioned in the film. You see underground prostitution, gambling and drug dens becoming legal everywhere in Hong Kong. The policemen will go around collecting protection money all over town for anything possible.

You also will see a scene where the gangsters threw an innocent guy down a few stories to his death as a grandma was walking by. The grandma blew the whistle to alert the police. As the policemen arrived at the scene, they pretended nothing happened as they saw that the gangsters were involved. The gangsters just took the body away from the scene to clean up the mess. You see another member using water to clean up the blood stains. Then, the grandma wanted to give a statement but the police told her the guy was not dead yet and it would take her 2 days to get all her statements recorded. She gave up because of so much hassle and left the scene, grumbling that she definitely confirmed that he was dead.

ICAC was established at a time when corruption is so common in the streets. They recruited talents graduated from the University of Hong Kong (The Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings 2008 ranked 26th, 2007 ranked 18th). They faced a lot of challenges, threats and even death to their members for going after these criminals and gangsters. We also get to see how ICAC interrogates their suspects. They use all kinds of tactics but physical abuse. I remember one of the suspects was so terrified that he told the ICAC officers to kill him. They answered that they are not allowed to even touch their suspects during interrogation, not to mention kill them.

Malaysia has the equivalent anti-corruption fighting commission called Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which used to be Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA). However, the reputation is no where near the ICAC of Hong Kong. You just need to look at the annual Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index score to know who is really doing the job well. I recommend this film to all Malaysians as our country definitely has a lot to learn from Hong Kong, who has better Corruption Perceptions Index score than us! It is not the best film ever released from Hong Kong but I believe the Hong Kong culture of corruption is a good case study to educate ourselves.

Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index Score
2002 Hong Kong 7.9, Malaysia 4.9
2003 Hong Kong 8.2, Malaysia 5.2
2004 Hong Kong 8.0, Malaysia 5.0
2005 Hong Kong 8.3, Malaysia 5.1
2006 14th place Hong Kong 8.3, 43rd place Malaysia 5.0
2007 14th place Hong Kong 8.3, 43rd place Malaysia 5.1
2008 12th place Hong Kong 8.1, 47th place Malaysia 5.1

Gam chin dai gwok

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