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People`s Wish for New Government

Posted February. 25, 2003 22:27,   


˝We hope to see a country that gives people something new, untainted and to be proud of. ˝ Hopes are running high among people as they watch the inauguration of the Roh government.

Watching the inauguration ceremony held in the morning of Feb. 25 via TVs at home and work or huge screen installed in public facilities, people hoped the country would become the kind they dream about.

˝I believe he will do his job well since he is a self-made man who made it against all odds,˝ people were in full of expectations.

˝All of the former governments came with fanfare but ended as a failure facing the hard reality and resistance, not to mention rampant corruption,˝ said Gye Myung-guk, a 29-year-old man working for LG Art Center. ˝I wish to see the new government center on competent people instead of close allies of the president who helped him during the election campaign.˝

Some are more specific about what they want from the new government based on their experience.

˝Many young people are losing their hopes on the future, unable to find a job,˝ said Lee Hyun-gu, 24-year-old collage student. ˝I hope that the new government will take a more realistic approach about the problem instead of coming up with a mere window-dressing policy.˝

˝Police investigations into corruption and draft-dodging scandals on the established level have so far been apparently influenced by the vested interests,˝ said lawyer Shin Hyun-ho. ˝With the new government, I hope the police and government agencies will stick to the principle and rules. ˝

˝We need to create a flexible human resource pool to compete in the global market,˝ said Kim Bong-ok, a man heading a small-sized company. ˝I wish the Roh government to set up an employment system that allows small firms to hire foreign workers.˝

Some hope that the new government will be able to ease their vague concern.

˝Many get worried seeing the ongoing investigations into conglomerates and the profiles of newly appointed presidential aides and ministers,˝ pointed out Lee Yong-jin, a 32-year-old man working for a private company. ˝Customs and culture in the society are no less important than principles, which is why the Roh government must try to stay in the middle of the road. ˝

˝President Roh must not forget that the rest half of the population voted for another candidate,˝ said the Citizens` Coalition for Economic Justice in a statement on the day. ˝Rather than thinking the president himself is only capable of implementing reforms, we hope he will create an environment for each part of the society to change itself.˝

Run-of-the-mill people said about their little wishes.

˝President Roh, U.S. President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi are all of the same age as me,˝ said Cho Chun-ho, a 57-year-old man running his small business. ˝I am certain the everything will go well with those people born in 1946, the year of dogs.˝

˝President Roh looks like Korean traditional Hahoi mask, with his a sad but understanding smile,˝ said 49-year-old Oh Gap-jin as he watched the ceremony at Gangnam Express Bus Terminal in Seoul. ˝He has a face of Korean and I believe he will always stand for ordinary hard-working people.˝

˝His predecessors were all indebted to large businesses when they took office, but Roh is indebted to people,˝ said Kim Bu-yeol, a 25-year-old college student and member of Rho-Sa-Mo (a group of people who love Roh Moo-hyun). ˝I hope he will pay all his debt by doing the right things over the next five years.˝

Jin-Goo Lee sys1201@donga.com