If corruption of over 500,000 (S$99,426) yuan is punishable by death, no official will dare to do that anymore, said Zhao Runtian, a deputy to the National People's Congress, on Monday. His speech draws heated comments online.
The light punishment against corruption may be encouraging graft, added Zhao, who is also secretary of the Heze Municipal Committee of the CPC in Shandong province.
Zhou Yuhua, another deputy to the NPC and chief justice of Shandong Higher People's Court, said corrupt officials don't consider how many years of jail time they will get, because they believe that they won't get caught.
Many Internet users also disagreed with Zhao's views, through a micro blog service Sina Weibo.
"Have you ever read the history of the Ming Dynasty? Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang killed many corrupt officials, only to bring little effect. The key to corruption control lies in culture rather than punishment," one wrote.
"The key is not the standard of corruption, but supervising system. If the supervising system remains the same, corruption will never be eradicated," wrote another.
"It may be an effective way, but does not get to the root of the problem. I believe transparency of power is the key. We should create conditions for citizens to oversee the government to make it function in sunshine," wrote another user.