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[Editorial] Order for Fair Personnel Appointment, Was It Just Empty Words?

[Editorial] Order for Fair Personnel Appointment, Was It Just Empty Words?

Posted January. 05, 2002 13:40,   


The announcement of Mr. Kim`s, formerly in the Cheong Wa Dae executive administration, instatement as supervisor of the Korea Labor Welfare Corporation (KLWC) on the 2nd was, in a word, brazen and shameless. President Kim Dae-Jung stressed that government official personnel must practice fair and equal treatment on December 29th of last year. `Ability, reform, and integrity must be the standards for hiring personnel, while regionalism, school ties, and requests must be denounced` said the President`s order. Yet, after merely four days had passed, a Cheong Wa Dae executive member made a parachute landing into a post of a governmental subsidiary organization.

It is deplorable that this administration would choose this kind of a person and show such contempt for the public. Were the promises for fair hiring that the President made few days prior simply empty words? Mr. Kim had worked in the Office of the Secretary of State, Secretary of Civil Government, and most recently in the Office of the Secretary of Civil Affairs. It is difficult, therefore, to say that he is professionally qualified. He is from a specific region and is in his early forties, which is a rather young age to become the supervisor of a government subsidiary organization. Given these considerations, his is a favor given by an administration in its last days.

The KLWC union reportedly held a sit-in yesterday in order to oppose Mr. Kim`s appointment. The union protested the measure on the basis of company president Mr. Lee`s promise `to accommodate the opinion of the staff when appointing personnel`.

Yet, no matter what the results of the negotiations may be between union and executives, the shady specter of Mr. Kim`s appointment will not disappear.

The main point that we are trying to make is that this seemingly insignificant affair could make a mockery out of President Kim`s order for fair appointment and nullify the commitment to running the country. Emphasizing principle and fairness in words while doing the same things as in the past will only break down the foundations of public office and increase the people’s mistrust of the government. People have held public offices with suspicion for some time and this recent incident will not help in gaining their trust in the President`s promise. In that case, the President`s grand promise to exercise nonpartisan leadership may also become nothing but a hoax.

Even the ruling leadership acknowledges that one of the main reasons why regionalism intensified and national unity faltered after the administration came into power is its failure in government appointments. Furthermore, it will be difficult for them to deny that principal member of the leadership became embroiled in all sorts of gates and marked as a hotbed for `collusion and corrupt connections`. Now, on top of all that, another case of loud clamoring over a parachute appointment welcomes us into the New Year – an unbelievably absurd turn of events. If this appointment is not a `fair appointment` as the President put it, it would be better to withdraw it now.