[EDITORIALS]Chang on the hot seat

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[EDITORIALS]Chang on the hot seat

There is no sign that suspicions and criticism over Chang Sang, the prime minister designate, are abating. Three allegedly fraudulent registration reports concerning her legal residence were revealed on the first day of her confirmation hearing before the National Assembly. Members of the Grand National Party cited evidence that Ms. Chang has been involved in real estate speculation, falsely registering her place of residence at three apartments: Jamwon-dong to Banpo-dong and Mok-dong. This indicates that it will be quite difficult for her to break free of the atmosphere of mistrust concerning her character and morality, especially on top of doubts generated by the issues of her son's dual citizenship and medical insurance benefits. There is also questionable real estate deals involving the land in Yangju, Gyeonggi province.

The denunciations stem clearly from a lack of convincing explanations. For example, concerning the false resident registration, she replied: "I only recently found out about the incident. My mother-in-law, who had been taking care of all family financial matters until three years ago, which included the payroll of her son and daughter-in-law, was responsible for it." She continued: "My mother-in-law is too old [91 years of age] and ill in bed. I cannot ask her, thus it is difficult for me to explain."

Even though it may be possible that her career as a professor kept her occupied, it is ridiculous to think that she was ignorant of the change of her legal residence. The act of blaming her mother-in-law may be seen by the public as imprudent innocence. Her retort to the Grand National Party's tenacious questioning was: "This is all to reveal the distorted truth." What is required is a more objective and explicit explanation.

Ms. Chang could become the first female prime minister of our constitutional government. Tuesday, the last day of the hearing, Prime Minister-designate Chang must assure the people of her morals and give sincere answers to all questions. Since the confirmation hearing is different from an investigative hearing to uncover corruption, the members of the National Assembly must give her a chance to explain and justify her position regarding the above issues and her view on how state affairs should be conducted.
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