[EDITORIALS]Resolving the SK affairHow much longer do we have to wait before being able to trust that politicians and businessmen are free of dark ties fed by money and power? The public is fed up with yet another allegation of corporate money being suspiciously funneled to the political community. We have now seen the third large-scale political scandal this year with allegations of slush funds going from the SK Group to politicians and officials in the closest proximity to the president. We have to ask why we cannot expect more from people with power or money.
Prosecution reports put SK at the source of tens of billions of won in secret contributions to politicians on both sides of the aisle. We will have to wait until the prosecution wraps up its investigation, but it appears that about 10 billion won ($8.7 million) went to the Grand National Party and a few billion won went to the Millennium Democratic Party. If there had been nothing to hide in these transactions, SK should have treated them openly in their financial accounts. The simple fact that the transactions were meant to be kept secret suggests that something was given in return. The prosecution must leave no stone unturned in looking into the case.
The response of the lawmakers who have been subpoenaed for questioning has been disgraceful. It is incredible how they all claim ignorance. Representative Choi Don-woong of the Grand National Party and the former Blue House secretary, Choi Do-sul, denied that they were recipients of the SK money. Representative Lee Sang-soo of the new People’s Participatory and Unity Party said he has registered whatever contributions were made to his office.
We have an entire political community that stands on the brink of moral bankruptcy. Politicians must help introduce legal and political safeguards that will once and for all scrap the custom of illegal political contributions. The Blue House also must not treat mounting allegations against its officials casually. There is no future for the country if the Blue House thinks the way to handle the scandal is to defend its officials or try to blame it on the media.