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[Opinion] Why Ignores Alarming Sound?

Posted February. 24, 2003 22:43,   


The human body gives out signals when it gets sick. And a wise person soon notices the signals and takes due precautions against the disease, but an unwise person ignores them and gets sick seriously. Pain is one of the foretelling signs of a disease. People sometimes feel pain psychologically but often time pain is related to a disease to come. Doctors, therefore, advise that people pay attention to the body`s alarming sound against a disease. The alarming system protects our body by preventing germs from infiltrating or wounds from spreading.

▷The same is true for a state, a society, organizations and facilities in it. Before a catastrophic accident takes place, it gives out alarming sound. Even when members do not notice the sign, experts could pick it up and warn of the coming danger. Before the Titanic sank in icy water with 2,228 passengers aboard in April 1912, experts warned that the ship could encounter with an iceberg on its course. The ship owner, however, ignored the warning boasting that the ship was made of strong steel and equipped with 16 waterproofing zones. Before hit by the 1997 so-called IMF crisis, the government in this country repeated that the foundation of the economy was strong even when there were a series of warnings from experts abroad against an economic crisis.

▷The tragedy in Daegu also could have been prevented if the authorities ever listened to alarming sound. After the fire first broke out, the operators in the control room saw the alarming message and the bell. But they disregarded the warning as a mechanical malfunction and wasted precious moments in responding to the emergency situation. Behind the `accidents-filled` image of this country is the fatal habit of ignoring alarming sound. We did that before when the bridge and the building collapsed and now did it again with the fire in the subway train.

▷No one knows what kind of alarm bell will ring over the next five years as the Roh government moves ahead. We are not just talking about a fatal accident. The government might hear the sound from critics or the press concerning its decision-making process or policies. It can avoid making mistakes by listening to the warning sound. Doctors emphasize that preventing a disease is a lot more important than curing it. Preventive medicine is indeed catching on fast. The government cannot be an exception when it comes to the benefit of prevention. People wish to see a prepared government for either reform or governance. The key to success for the Roh government lies in its preparedness.

Song Young-eon, Editorial Writer, youngeon@donga.com