[EDITORIALS]Invitation to corruptionChung Dae-kun, head of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, has been arrested. He is the third leader of the organization in a row to face criminal charges related to the organization.
The banking agency of the federation has assets of 287 trillion won ($307 billion), making it the largest financial institution in the country. This organization’s frequent involvement in corruption scandals cannot be seen as a good omen.
The federation runs securities, credit card and insurance businesses, but is not under the supervision of the Financial Supervisory Service. Reckless management and loose supervision certainly lead to corruption.
We need to look at the current system of direct elections for the head of the federation. Candidates spend huge amounts of money campaigning, and it is little wonder that they cut corners to try to get some of it back.
The reform of the federation cannot be delayed any further. The most urgent task is to set up a stronger supervisory organization to keep the federation in check.
Politicians have tried numerous times to make capital from the problems in the federation, but dropped the issue quickly because they were afraid to lose farmers’ votes. They should not repeat this failure of will.
Last year, senior managers in the federation used grant money for illegal purposes. The federation apologized for its lack of morality and swore to carry out reforms.
But now the head of the organization has been arrested on charges of bribery.
We do not need a federation that does not work for farmers but works for its own interests. If only the federation had been faithful to its original role, the situation in the agricultural sector today would not have gotten as bad as it is now.