[EDITORIALS]A call for discretionThe Blue House and the Korea Independence Commission Against Corruption have made an unsightly scene over the issue of public servants’ golf games. It all began with a golf game of a Blue House secretary on the first weekend after the commission’s proposal to “refrain from playing golf with work-related persons.” The senior secretary for civil affairs, Moon Jae-in, said, “The commission is causing confusion because it did not present detailed standards.” Lee Gang-cheol, the Blue House special assistant for political affairs, added his criticism, describing the commission’s guidelines as “resulting from the commission being bent on showing achievements.” Mr. Lee added that the commission’s guidelines “lacked political judgment.” It eludes our understanding what kind of “political judgment” is needed for golf. The Blue House then indulged its secretary, saying, “The internal investigation found no relation to work.” Therefore, the Blue House nullified guidelines by the anti-corruption body. Under such conditions, it is hard to maintain even fundamental discipline among bureaucrats.
We do not intend to say that bureaucrats must refrain from playing golf. The commission’s urge was to “refrain from golfing that can lead to suspicions of lobbying or collusion,” following the golf controversy of former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan. The Blue House secretary at issue, however, went ahead and played golf, saying, “It does not matter because it’s not work-related.” We are amazed at the official’s arrogance.
Recently, we have witnessed incidents that revealed the deterioration of discipline in the Blue House. An official handed over a classified document regarding the strategic flexibility of the United States to a politician. Another murdered his wife. Such faults of the secretariat harm the president. We call for discretion from the Blue House secretariat.