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[Opinion] Another Golf Outing Scandal

Posted July. 24, 2006 03:18,   


The picture of members of the Grand National Party (GNP) playing golf while Gangwon Province was being flooded is making people feel outrage.

A council chairman of party members in Gyeonggi Province seemed to be happy while dancing with his putter in his hand, and vice-chairman of GNP branch in Gyeonggi Province was laughing as if there was something funny at the time. They were totally hooked on golf at the moment.

The picture was taken when the party announced its policy of “Sharing the Pain of Flood Victims” and prohibited playing golf. While the victims of the rainfall were crying after losing everything they had, including their crops and family members, the members of the luxurious “well-being party,” another name for the GNP, were enjoying themselves.

It is surprising to see the people who led the dismissal of Lee Hae-chan, the former prime minister, for playing golf on the Independence Day of Korea, playing the same game while the public was suffering from the devastating after effects of the heavy rainfall. At the time of the former prime minister’s dismissal, the members of the GNP called Lee as an arrogant person to play golf on Independence Day. It turns out that GNP members did not only play golf in the damaged areas. The governor of Danyang also showed off his musical talents at a karaoke bar after drinking alcoholic beverages with his friends. At the same time, townspeople of Danyang were suffered from water famine and were busy doing repair work.

The mayor of Jecheon went on for a vacation while turning a blind eye to the people who needed help with their restoration work. He came back two days later as many people were criticizing him. And one mayor went on a vacation to China. All of those people are the members of the Grand National Party, shame on you.

Last month, at the “Seminar for the Victory at the Presidential Election,” people raised their voices of criticism. Kang Gyeong-geun, professor at Soongsil University, said “The GNP seems to be like a royal family without power.” Mok Jin-hyu, professor at Kookmin University, said, “The GNP should get rid of its rigidity and complacency, which is reflected in its nickname ‘well being party.’” This means that those professors already knew what the members of the GNP had in mind when they were playing golf, drinking alcohol, dancing and singing. Professor Mok also added advice saying that if the GNP does not struggle to tackle the narrow base of support and gets rid of its image of “bribery party” or “loser conservative party,” it will be very difficult to win the presidential election.

In Korea, people often say, “A dog’s fur does not turn into a weasel’s fur although one stores it in the roof for three years.” A weasel’s fur, also known as “yellow hair,” is used when making slender writing brushes. This means that a dog’s fur can never be used to make a slender writing brush. The GNP, which failed in the presidential elections twice, has been very angry about their situation for the recent 10 years. Will the party be allowed to gain victory by trying to find solutions while stuck in a dark roof? Not until they cut off their bad behaviors, such as playing golf while the public is going through difficulties, and change their “luxurious well-being” lifestyle.

Kim Chung-sik, Editorial Writer, skim@donga.com