[EDITORIALS]Cabinet to serve the peoplePresident Roh Moo-hyun has formed his first cabinet. His explanation of why he selected unconventional ministers was refreshing. In addition, he has disclosed major aspects of his administration’s policy orientation. If things unfold as he said, our society will certainly jump to another level.
It is unprecedented for a president to explain about his cabinet selection and cleared up people’s questions. We could see the adumbration of a new era. President Roh also promised to guarantee at least a two-year term for his cabinet members to enable them to execute policies and reforms consistently. Thus, more responsibility is put on his cabinet. He also proposed to renovate the current bureaucracy by breaking away its existing hierarchy. The new cabinet members will be evaluated first in this regard. They are supposed to lead reforms without a glitch as they keep the lid on chaos and repel bureaucracy.
What was most notable was Mr. Roh’s approach to powerful organizations like the prosecution, National Intelligence Service and National Tax Service. The president said his justice minister is to give appropriate representation to the powerful organizations, as if she was answering the public concern for “experimental selection.”
He said that those organizations should work for the public interest based on laws and not to serve the powerful. He clearly pledged that he has no plan to use those organizations to his political benefit.
Accordingly, the heads and members of those organizations should cease serving, as they have been whether by intention or compulsion, as “handmaidens to the powerful.” They should reform themselves and be reborn as officials and organizations on the side of the people. We believe Mr. Roh’s declaration should be put into practice right now.
The president emphasized stability in selecting ministers for economic and national-security affairs, reform-mindedness for selecting ministers for justice and home affairs. Unconventional is the selection of four women ministers and a youthful minister who is fresh but relatively less tested. To these ministers we would like to say: You may exacerbate chaos, trials and errors if you are consumed only by propelling the reform of society. You should carry out gradual reforms based on cold calculation of reality. That would dissipate the people’s concern over your lack of experience or capability.
We have no room to tolerate unnecessary trials and errors when we face tensions arising from North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, tension in the Korea-U.S. relationship and economic hardship caused by a possible war against Iraq. We expect the new administration to do its best to steer national governance successfully, because our national destiny in the 21st century will be decided by how it will handle these difficult issues.