[EDITORIALS]Another bad smell"Because of the smell of money, it was hard for me to fall asleep," the wife of Park Chung-hoon, a former lawmaker, confessed. Her remark about the delivery of a sum of money in 1988, when President Kim Dae-jung was the opposition leader, is shocking because her confession included Kim Woo-choong, the former chairman of the bankrupt Daewoo Group, and Kim Hong-il, a Millennium Democratic Party lawmaker and the eldest son of the president.
Representative Kim flatly scoffed at Ms. Park's memory, saying, "She is greatly confused about something." Thus, the truth of her recollection remains unclear; she could have made a brave comment to reveal the route of political funds or she could have misunderstood what had happened. Or she could have made her comments because she had been upset that her husband had failed to obtain public nomination for the general election in April. Whatever happened, her "smell of money" remark echoes many of the recently revealed corruption scandals, and it's one more piece of bad news to hear at the end of a year of bad news.
The so-called "Chin Seung-hyun gate" is filled with shadowy figures of power who chased the smell of money. A conspiracy between money and power was the basis of the lobbying activity attempted by a young swindler who earned a big fortune by operating a technology start-up. The head of domestic intelligence at the National Intelligence Service and the senior prosecution official abandoned their responsibilities. Those involved in the scandal acted arrogantly by usurping authority and trying to approach the son of the president. Anyone attempting to form a cozy relationship with those in power more often than not uses money as a key element. From the deputy justice minister's bribery scandal to the suspected lobbying fund of 1.25 billion won ($967,000), the smell of money has already spread to young politicians. Even the head of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party's 21st Century National Affairs Advisory Committee accepted a bribe from a funeral director seeking the right to operate a funeral home.
"The government should reveal the truth in all the scandals through fair investigations, so that the people will have no doubts," President Kim said Tuesday. That is the only way to drive out the smell of money from those with power.