04/06/2011, 00.00
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Indonesian Catholics, educate young people the faith to fight corruption

by Mathias Hariyadi
Indonesia is the second most corrupt country in Asia after Cambodia. Association for the education of young Catholic leaders organized a meeting in Jakarta with Indonesian and foreign officials and experts. Filipino activist: "the fight against corruption starts in reviewing are own lifestyle”.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Fighting corruption with the Christian education of youth and the spread of values and ethics in the workplace. This is what emerges from the encounter with some church leaders, ngo activist, lecturers, media editors, anti-corruption watchdog and business leaders organized April 2 last in Jakarta by the Bhumiksara Foundation, a Catholic association that has promoted the formation of young Catholic leaders. Leading the conference Ronald V. Amorado (pictured), a Filipino activist and coordinator of Ehem, an organization for fighting corruption in the Philippines founded in 1988 by Jesuit priest Father Albert Alejo.

"Corruption - Amorado said - is a contagious virus in our society. This practice has nothing to do with religion or with economic prosperity, however, it depends on personal ethics and values”.

According to a survey by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) a Hong Kong based consulting firm specializing in the study of corruption in Asian countries, Indonesia is the second most corrupt country in Asia after Cambodia. In his experience in the Philippines, Morado understood that all areas are at risk from corruption, including religions. "We Catholics – he said - in order to be professional and respected in the economic field, must follow and promote a spirit of anti-corruption among our colleagues and friends, and it is good to start this journey judging our own ways of living."

J.W. Junardy, a businessman and representative for Indonesia at the UN Global Compact Network Association, said that the Church and the Catholic world must be an example to follow for the people. According Junardy, the fight against corruption is a risky topic and to be effective everyone must follow their own ethical path. Otherwise, the risk is the manipulation of the fight against corruption. An example is the radical Islamic parties, which exploit the issue to gather support, proposing the application of sharia as the only antidote.

Corruption is a major problem in Asia and in countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Vietnam and the Philippines is not only widespread in the public sector and large companies, but also on a local level and costs States billions of  euro. The governments of these countries each year announce new commissions to combat the problem, but these in turn are transformed into devices to allow a political party to pursue their own interests.

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