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[Editorial] Thanksgiving Amidst These Depressing Days

Posted September. 30, 2001 08:45,   


It is Thanksgiving Day, the people`s major holiday. 32, 000, 000 people will visit their hometown for the holiday, making `exodus` an apt description. But these people`s hearts will not be as light and high as the full moon.

It is the crumbling façade of political power and the parasitic connections that feed on it that draws a heavy shadow over the Thanksgiving holiday. You go to bed and wake up the next day to find yet another scandal adding to the confusion and chaos. Politicians and government officials in the Prosecutors Office, Police, National Intelligence Service, National Tax Administration, Financial Supervisory Service whose organizations maintain the nation have all come under suspicion. Mediated by regionalist loyalties, they have been connected to the `Lee Yong-Ho Gate`. The scandal leading people to think that it is not worth living honestly and working hard. It calls into question for whom or what the national community stands. Despite these effects, the government is threatening to take legal action against the opposition party for `baseless disclosure`.

One minister, formerly head of the National Tax Administration, had made his employees sing all four verses of the national anthem and remember the national interest and welfare of the people. Now he is in the process of building a `family town` on prime real estate in Kangnam, Seoul. After only 22 days, however, he resigned from his office, citing `health problems` as the reason. Cheong Wa Dae explained its position, saying ``Even if there was a problem in how he accumulated his property, it is past the time period for official action and the case remains closed.`` How can the government expect any confidence from the people when they display such amoral obliviousness?

The `Golf Course Businessman` who was arrested for playing golf for money is claiming that ``(My arrest) was to cover up the Lee Yong-Ho scandal.`` It is also reported that several ruling party government leaders visited his office frequently. Yet, the Prosecutors Office is giving the impression that they want to quickly solve the case as a gambling case. Instead of resolving the doubts surrounding the case, they are creating more doubts and questions.

One ruling party member received 20, 000, 000 won from an unidentified `con businessman` but insists that it was a simple donation and shows the receipt. Another member gives a roundabout explanation, saying that he got together with `younger schoolmates from home` and made a visit.

Thanksgiving Day is a `burning furnace of public sentiment`. Those in power should fear the people`s rage and despondency that can pour out of that furnace. Every scandal and doubt must be completely cleared away. There is no other choice anymore.