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Parliamentary audit should focus on issues at hand

Posted October. 14, 2017 07:34,   

Updated October. 16, 2017 08:34


The fierce debate between the ruling and opposition parties is continuing in the National Assembly’s inspection of government offices. During the audit session at the Science and Technology Information and Communications Commission on Friday, the ruling Democratic Party called for the need of “reforming public broadcasting” and demanded that KBS and MBC directors resign from the board who were nominated by then ruling party during the Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye administrations while the opposition Korea Liberty Party stood up saying that “such an attitude is an attempt to dominate public broadcasting.” In the inspection of the Trade, Industry, and Energy Ministry held on Thursday, the names of four former presidents had been on the tongues of lawmakers all day long. Opposition lawmakers criticized President Moon Jae-in’s new energy policy of phasing out nuclear energy by disclosing video clips of former liberal Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun praising the excellent performance and safety of the country’s nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, ruling lawmakers focused on the problems of overseas resource development project during the Lee Myung-bak administration.

A similar scene will be repeated during this year’s parliamentary inspection, which runs 20 days by the end of this month. Last month, the ruling party adopted the policy of “clearing out deep-rooted evils accumulated for the past eight years of Lee and Park administrations,” and ordered the party members to focus on coinciding the Korea Liberty Party with such evils. The opposition party, not to be outdone, defined the Moon administration’s security and personnel incompetence as “new evils” and former Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations’ policies as “original evils,” respectively. Blinded by a proxy war for previous administrations, both ruling and opposition have put aside the people’s livelihood.

Unlawful acts of the past governments must be punished if convicted. Nevertheless, what happens now is that the ruling party stands at the forefront calling for abolishing deep-rooted evils and government and investigation agencies are following suit, which would be seen as political retaliation or venting its spite. President Moon said on Tuesday, “The eradication of accumulated evils is to enhance the competitiveness of the country,” but he also needs to think over whether or not this so-called eradication of evils could be read as political retaliation. The Four Rivers Project of the Lee administration had already been investigated and ended without any problems during the Park administration. The timing is also peculiar that President Moon announced that he directed an audit of the Four Rivers Project the day before the 8th anniversary memorial of the late President Roh. That’s why the opposition parties are trying to ferret out all the problems of the previous, previous, previous and previous governments and to see “the real evils.”

Internal and external circumstances are too serious and urgent to waste this parliamentary inspection discussing past history. North Korea is posing an ever-growing threat with its nuclear and missile provocations. To top it off, the Korean security and economy are in a predicament with U.S. trade pressure and Chinese retaliation over the THAAD deployment. The country is also faced with multiple social issues including youth unemployment, economic recession, low birth rates and aging population. It is not for the past, but for the current crisis and unstable future that policymakers need to have a fierce battle.