[EDITORIALS]More work ahead on corruptionToday, representatives of the government, major political parties, business groups and civic groups will sign an anti-corruption pact. This pact is a declaration of the signatories’ intent to creat a transparent society, one without corruption. Past administrations had declared that they would use their power to liquidate corruption in Korea, but all of them eventually failed, because of corruption among those who held power within the administrations themselves.
Considering that history, this new pact is meaningful in that it includes major powers in society besides the government itself.
We hope that this pact will not only achieve the stated goal of removing corruption, but will lead to compromise among these major powers, which have been in conflict. In this respect, it is regrettable that measures of mutual tolerance and generosity over issues from the past have not been included, even as a declaration, .
It is particularly unfortunate that the judiciary, academia, religious circles, the news media and labor unions are not participating in this pact. Organized labor accounts for a significant portion of Korea’s population, and has considerable influence throughout society. Without the participation of such a major element of society, we are afraid that the pact’s practical impact will be limited.
Accordingly, the groups that are participating should make an effort to broaden social support for the anti-corruption goal, by continuously recruiting additional groups to join in the agreement.
The agreement consists of four parts, covering the public sector, the political sector, the business sector and the civil sector. It deals with aspects of corruption throughout society and suggests concrete measures to deal with it. In this sense, the pact demonstrates a strong will to eradicate corruption.
But there are also some very sensitive issues involved. Particularly where the political sector and the business sector are concerned, there are provisions that are likely to face opposition from those who would be affected.
For this reason, turning this agreement into an actual system, and making legislation out of it, is likely to prove extremely difficult. This makes it all the more important that those who’ve taken the lead in drafting this agreement do the best they can to persuade colleagues in their respective fields to get on board.