[EDITORIALS]Crutches for the duckA meeting of the National Assembly’s education committee was held yesterday regarding allegationsthat Education Minister Kim Byong-joon plagiarized and inflated his work. No matter what results may come out of this incident, this scandal will accelerate the lame-duck status of the administration and add more chaos in the country.
President Roh Moo-hyun should take responsibility for this scandal. Despite opposition from the public and the ruling party, he worked hard to appoint Mr. Kim as the education minister just because they share the same ideology.
The Blue House boasted that its specialty was filtering people out when it hired new executives. But it failed to learn about this scandal over Mr. Kim’s papers. The chaos these days is a result of the president’s hard-headedness.
Deputy Prime Minister Kim’s reputation has been ruined so much that he cannot perform his job as education minister. A deputy prime minister and education minister should have earned respect and trust not only from civil servants at the education ministry but also from education professionals, parents and students.
However, Mr. Kim’s ethical reputation has been damaged severely. Mr. Kim led reform movements in the administration, working as the head of committees for government reform and decentralization of power. It is unbelievable that he mimimizes the importance of his past actions. For his sake and for the sake of the administration, he should not persist in holding on to office.
The National Assembly also failed to perform its duty. If the problems with Mr. Kim’s papers had been mentioned at the nomination hearings, there would not have been waste and chaos over this incident. Some ruling party members did not even try to find problems, but instead praised him as a flawless and wonderful person.
The administration has made itself a lame duck through this scandal, even though the president has one-and-a-half years left in his presidential term. That is very unfortunate for the president himself and a waste for the entire country.
The administration should replace ministers where there are problems, such as in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the National Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Justice.
The president should learn a lesson from Mr. Kim’s scandal and change the administration by hiring supra-partisan figures. The people will then think differently about the president and his administration.