[EDITORIALS]Finally, an apologyPrime Minister Lee Hai-chan issued a statement yesterday expressing regret over remarks he made at the National Assembly. For making the Assembly go idle because of his remarks, he apologized, “I sincerely feel sorry for causing worries to the people.” He also said, “I express my apologies because there were inappropriate expressions in my answers to legislators’ questions.” The prime minister’s apologies lay the ground for the normalization of the Assembly’s operations.
Of course, more could have been done. If Mr. Lee had made an apology earlier, it would not have been necessary for the Assembly to waste 13 days out of its 100-day plenary session period. Because Mr. Lee didn’t give in, the crippled operations of the Assembly were prolonged for so long a time. As the one in the position of second in command of the administration, it was not appropriate for him to make such remarks: “If the Grand Nationals are in power, history will regress.” “How can one say that a party, that accepted tens of billions of wons loaded in a car at an underground car park and at a rest area along the expressway is a good party?” Also, to make an apology, couldn’t he make it more sincerely? If people feel, between the lines of his apology, a reluctance to admit his mistakes, those who accept it will also feel it unsatisfactory. By blurring the subject to whom he makes an apology, will the self-esteem of the prime minister be saved? It might have been more dignified to have made it more candidly, to make people nod and to silence Grand Nationals.
Nevertheless, it is clear that Mr. Lee has made an apology. Therefore, the minimum conditions for the Grand Nationals’ return to the Assembly are satisfied. In the meantime, the public has taken issue with Mr. Lee’s remarks. Even if the apologies are unsatisfactory, it is time to come back to the Assembly. The duty of the Grand National Pary is to return to the Assembly and deliberate numerous bills and next year’s budget and check the ruling party’s activities. Trying for revenge will only bring criticism that both sides are wrong. Chairwoman Park Geun-hye said, “We have to embrace the minds of the people with that of a mother.” Keeping aloof from minor fights is the way to victory.
The violence of words that bring insults to opponents and hurt their feelings should disappear from politics now. This is the lesson we learn from the fiasco caused by Mr. Lee’s blunder.