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Roh Tells First-time Elected Assemblymen: “Don’t Stand Out”

Roh Tells First-time Elected Assemblymen: “Don’t Stand Out”

Posted May. 30, 2004 22:33,   


“Don’t stand out and speak slowly.”

At a dinner party held at Cheong Wa Dae on May 29, President Roh Moo-hyun gave “meaningful advice” to first-time elected assemblymen belonging to the Uri Party. Although the statement of President Roh on this day was about the principles of mental and physical attitudes as a politician, it was strong enough for the first-time elected lawmakers to be strained who continuously set forth and showed outstanding remarks and attitudes.

In particular, some politicians in the Uri Party give assessments that President Roh who is regarded as the pioneer of “outstanding politicians,” has changed a bit since he took charge of administrating the large ruling party.

After going through the participants’ songs, President Roh, when he stepped up to the podium to give concluding remarks to wrap up the party, started his advices for the first-time elected lawmakers about their must-have attitudes and spirits as a politician.

“If I had been elected continuously, I would have been a five-time elected assemblymen as like Rep. Lee Hae-chan,” Roh started his speech, reflecting upon his election campaign battle against candidate Huh Sam-soo at the 13th general election, and stating his message, “Speak slowly when you have something to say.”

“At the meeting for the elected people in Busan area, I ridiculed that “as a strongman, Huh Sam-soo cowardly avoided it,” to my senior politicians, but I regret it over and over again that I had said such things when I looked back over that time,” remarked Roh, adding, “Statements that will maintain their meaning after a year can be expressed afterwards.”

“It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t restrain your saying, but being heard as a “distinctive person” is a loss anyway. If you can wisely overcome quick-wits, artifice, and hasty temper, you will do about middle, and I bet you could have dreams of leadership if you can bravely and prudently be candid,” added Roh.

In addition, he said, “There is nothing greater than sincerity. Respect the moral justification and practical interests, and select between these values. When you are not sure what to choose, select the one that can give damage to you,” stated Roh.

As for the advice of President Roh, some assemblymen have assessed them by saying, “Like life-giving water, every word of his were well-wishing remarks for the first-time elected lawmakers who are on the point of beginning their life as politicians.” Other assemblymen said that “it seemed like he was satirizing some ruined former assemblymen who recklessly remarked, behaved, and handled the press coverage.”

At the end of his speech, Roh said, “Though the politics with brave resistance have been highly exalted so far, the current era is the time for creative, alternative, and productive politics as highly estimated values,” aiming at the first-time elected assemblymen who took part in student movements in their past. Roh drew an example from British Premier Tony Blair and asserted that “rather than the courage related to struggles, the time is going for the time of real-ability assessment.”

In particular, President Roh pointed out that “honest and bitter statements are both necessary, but it is just the story of a time when the conventional politics and party structure were without free discussion. Criticism should be always drawn up from inside.” It seemed to have spoken figuratively against the first-time elected lawmakers who spoke prominently with their convictions.

“When opinions are different, they can be differentiated. But reasons for separation should be considered carefully and the following burdens ought to be assumed for determination,” said Roh, focusing on the solidarity and unity of his party.

He finished his statement with a request, saying, “I’m feeling that everyone is doing their business carefully and very deliberately.”

One of the participants said that “applause roared up many times during the speech, and a sincere and silent atmosphere was prevalent from start to finish. Rather than being a warning to the first-time elected lawmakers, it was the advice that welled up from his practical experience itself, that outstanding and prominent behaviors can bring out consecutive restraints.”

Hoon Lee dreamland@donga.com