[EDITORIALS]Chains of corruptionChoi Don-woong, a lawmaker of the Grand National Party, yesterday admitted that he had received 10 billion won ($8.6 million) from the SK Group before last year’s presidential election. When the suspicion that Mr. Choi received the money first arose, he strongly denied it. We are dumbfounded by his shamelessness. We strongly urge the prosecution to thoroughly investigate him.
What Mr. Choi and his party have done so far is the essence of bad old politics. He first started by proclaiming that he had reported even small donations from fellow alumni, and vowed that he had not received a single won from SK. Now he admits that he received 10 billion won. But when asked how the money was used, he said, “I cannot answer.” Is it because he misappropriated the sum or is it because he does not want to put Lee Hoi-chang, the party’s presidential candidate last year, in a difficult situation? Mr. Choi should do his duty as a politician and tell the public how the 10 billion won was used.
Some Grand Nationals who tried to protect Mr. Choi and asked him not to respond to prosecutors’ questions should also be ashamed of themselves. They once praised the prosecution highly for investigating their rival politicians. Now that the prosecution has turned its attention to their fellow member Mr. Choi, they visited the prosecutors’ office in protest.
Lee Hoi-chang said of Mr. Choi recently, “I would be held responsible if anyone is at fault.” Well, what now, Mr. Lee? The Grand Nationals should also apologize officially. If they don’t, how can they ask the prosecution to investigate the allegation that an aide of the president received 1.1 billion won right after the presidential election?
In our political history, we have often seen allegations that politicians received astronomical amounts of money around the time of legislative and presidential elections. Nothing has changed. Not only Mr. Choi and his party but also other politicians should confess to the public how much money they collected and how they used the sums so that we will not see the corrupt chain between politicians and businesses anymore.