Come clean on reshuffleThough late, the announcement that senior presidential secretaries including the chief of staff will be replaced is welcome. However, the cabinet reshuffle that is supposed to follow that of the presidential secretariat is of concern. Disturbance to the cabinet is said to be minimal and will occur after seeing the public’s reaction to the secretariat reshuffle. Some opine that the prime minister should be retained because choosing a new person for that post, as well as cabinet ministers, is difficult.
The government should not interpret public sentiment arbitrarily. Decreasing attendance in candlelight vigils does not mean that the knot of public sentiment has been untied. A minority of the people shouting in the plaza do not reflect the voices of the silent majority. The candles in the plaza are nothing more than a small part of the people’s raging bellow. The minds of a disappointed many who are not holding candles but have turned their backs on the government must be respected.
Tangible and continuous reform efforts are needed. Hence, a bold cabinet reshuffle is a dire need. Ministers are heads of government agencies who are directly responsible for carrying out state affairs. They are much more important than senior presidential secretaries. As a matter of fact, more than just one or two ministers have disappointed the public thus far; a minister who failed to capture the significance of the beef issue, a minister who did not properly carry out negotiations, a minister who invited a “code appointment” controversy for selecting people who share the same political views, a minister who caused people agony with anachronistic economic policies ... the list goes on.
At the core of the cabinet is the prime minister.
Some say there is no right candidate for the job, but we want to ask if they have truly tried hard and exhausted all the options. Park Geun-hye, the former chairwoman of the Grand National Party, and Shim Dae-pyong, the head of the Liberty Forward Party, were discussed as prospective candidates, but no traces of sincere persuasion and efforts can be found anywhere.
If every effort was truly made but no appropriate candidate has emerged, then the president can ask for the people’s understanding in his address to the nation today. He can confess the difficulty of finding the right candidates and plead for more time. If the administration acts as if it has put its fate on the line over this revamp, no one will disregard its efforts.