Irresponsible Special-Interest GroupsIrresponsible special-interest groups are going too far and related laws and public opinion polls are having little effect.
Doctors groups, demanding compensation for reduced income, have already been on strike twice. They are protesting the government plan to divide the traditional roles of doctors and pharmacists.
In Cheju, self-employed taxi drivers protested in front of the provincial governor's office; the governor was injured during an ensuing riot.
Special-interest groups insist that their livelihood is being threatened by improper regulations. Though the groups in question may have a good point, but their aggressive, often violent protests are not earning the support of the public.
Taxi drivers in Cheju are demanding that the current licencing regulations, which call for a rise in the number of taxi drivers on the island, should be revised. The issue which should have been resolved through negotiation, took a violent turn at the provincial office, despite the governor's willingness for a diplomatic resolution. The incident revealed the group's disregard for the constitutional process.
The current social atmosphere, which encourages careless group actions to resolve disagreements, is at the base of the problem. Public authorities are doing little to curb the problem with elections around the corner. Governments have the tendency to assume an indifferent attitude.
In Cheju, when a concerned police department placed officers at the provincial office, a government official claimed that, "Provincial offices are a public place for all Cheju citizens," and sent the officers away.
We agree that democratization and provincial self-government are important issues in our society. However, respecting the powers of authority should come as a priority. It is important to maintain a standard in representing various aspects of our society, with proper order and procedure to achieve the goals of a democratic society.
by Kim Gi-Chan