[EDITORIALS]When temptation knocksA younger member of the power elite, who is also a leading member of the Millennium Democratic Party, reportedly has decided to return a car he has driven for some time because, as he says, “It might look like I accepted the car as a bribe.” The party and the Blue House seem to have accepted his move. Since there was another incident in which suspicion was raised over a presidential aide’s involvement in wrongdoing, we should not overlook such incidents.
If we look into this case, there are many “unusual” things that cannot be overlooked. The person in question said initially: “I borrowed a friend’s car temporarily.” But he changed his line after the “borrowed car” raised questions. He then said, “The car is a present from a friend and is registered under his company. So, it is not mine legally, although I use it.”
There is another rumor about him. He is one of the main suspects involved in the Nara Merchant Bank slush fund allegations, which are under investigation, but the prosecutors are not investigating him. We think he should be investigated.
Another rumor, involving a Blue House aide, was raised, and the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs acknowledged the case. But we have heard nothing about an investigation or a clarification. We doubt whether things should be hidden under excuses. If suspicions about the powerful are glossed over, charges of implying a double standard will emerge. Although the person has offered explanations, the public needs to know whether the car was a present or a bribe and whether other things were provided to him. Why not investigate the case?
People’s expectations of the cleanliness of this government are higher than for any other regime. People believe the leaders of the new government led hard lives in opposition, armed with strict ethical standards. Living a frugal life is easy when temptation is absent. But one’s integrity is tested in the presence of easy gain. This is the reason the behavior of young people in power is under scrutiny.