Government, MDP Need Be Humble

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Government, MDP Need Be Humble

Neither the administration nor the ruling Millennium Democratic Party seems to understand fully the seriousness of the developing political crisis. While the public is upset about the huge bribe paid to a janitor at the Blue House, the government and ruling party are content to deny that there are political implications, arguing that the problem lies with one person, not with the system.

Most people are dissatisfied with how the prosecution puts the label of "simple fraud" on cases in which certain politicians are suspected of involvement, but the government and ruling party leaders claim allegations of suspicion are nothing more than the opposition making political hay.

From the way the government and ruling party leaders evade responsibility, it is hard to believe they are really running the country. The difficulties stem from the lack of credibility of the government and the ruling party.

They called for reform, but we haven''''t seen much. They promised clean politics, but during the nearly three years they have been in power, there has been an almost endless string of scandals. The government and ruling party proposed national integration, but with appointments that have been far from impartial, they have worsened regional conflicts in an unprecedented fashion.

Our leaders still persist in claiming they are reformers, clean administrators and politicians and proponents of national integration. The gap between these claims and reality is driving a wedge between the rulers and the ruled. The loss of popular trust is the major reason for the disorder in various areas of administration. The government and the ruling party should listen with humility to the complaints of the people, who feel betrayed. These people include those who offered their precious gold and silver to help save the national economy during the recent economic crisis.

The ministers are ignoring the problems, although these same politicians are happy enough to dip into public funds as if they had an inborn and unlimited right to the money. They care only about their careers, no matter what difficulties the country and the people are facing.

Prime Minister Lee Han-dong is a typical example. Instead of assuming responsibility for overall government administration and proposing alternative policies, he seems concerned only about his political position, avoiding any tough or risky decisions. The result is the virtual non-existence of the cabinet.

Another problem is that to hold its majority in the National Assembly, the ruling party has been forced into blind allegiance to the United Liberal Democrats. This is an another barrier to efficient, productive government.

Leaders of the government and the ruling party should heed a former minister of this administration, who said an incompetent vassal group, irresponsible bureaucrats and corrupt conservatives were hindering communication between the President and the people. There have been complaints about the President''''s inability to listen to the people. If the situation keeps worsening, people may some day take stronger action.

The Grand National Party is proposing a coalition government and has called on President Kim Dae-jung to resign from the Millennium Democratic Party. The ruling party belittles this as mere political rhetoric, but it is in no position to ignore such a call when it is unable to run a government capable of responding to a crisis. We again call for a complete overhaul of the government and the ruling party.

by Chung Un-chan

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