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Is getting money from subordinates a practice?

Posted April. 23, 2001 19:37,   


We are taken aback to hear a clarification made by former Vice Defense Minister Moon Il-Sub, who was robbed of as much as 3.7 million won from his driver. Moon reportedly said that he was burglarized of 70 checks for 100,000-won, 8 million won in cash and $17,000 in U. S. dollar at his home a month ago when he was on active duty. He argued that the dollar holding is an aggregate of the leftovers of his spending during his travels abroad on eight occasions since his taking vice ministerial post in last August and the contributions made by his subordinate staff officers prior to his tour to Turkey scheduled for Mar. 26. He added that it is a practice that when senior officials are scheduled to leave for tours abroad, their subordinates collected money among them and donate it to their seniors for their use.

It may be plausible that the senior officials give some money to their subordinates who are leaving for overseas tours, yet it seems to be very inappropriate for the seniors to habitually take money from their subordinates. Moreover, if they received as much as several thousands of dollars ahead of their overseas travels, this is no more than gift money but bribes. It is questioned how the general public servants have such big amount of money to contribute to their seniors. Their ulterior intention for the donation also is doubtful. In short, such irregular monetary transactions leave room for leading to bigger irregularities.

If such a trend is a practice, this must be wiped out without losing time. And if this kind of graft persists, public distrust to the government will deepen and the nation has little hope for the future. As for the particular case, the ex-vice defense minister should be stringently held responsible for having committed old-fashioned, malpractice, despite the fact that he should have set a good example for his junior officials. Although Moon excused that the money in question was the remainder of the confidential fund he had used, his remarks stand little reason. The expense account ought to be used in connection with the implementation of his official duties. Given this, why did this sort of the expediency fund was kept at his house?

If the extra-expenses are so much as to require its holdings at home, the fund should be drastically curtailed. Learning that Moon did not exactly know even the amount of the stolen money and that the money had been put in a paper box and left on the veranda of his house, we are at loss for words. Witnessing some particular cases in which some cash-strapped people were compelled to write memoranda pledging the abandonment of even their bodies in order to borrow just a few million won from loan sharks, this case prompts us to deplore the plight of the present society.

Such a practice still in fashion in the name of ``good morals and manners`` must be rooted out once and for all. If this malpractice goes unchecked, the government`s effort to make a clean society will be sure to end up an empty word. All the public post holders are called upon to realize how great is the people`s power.