The truth behind the allegationsThe Ministry of Economy and Finance has filed charges against a former employee, Shin Jae-min, who revealed that the Moon Jae-in administration attempted to replace KT&G CEO and ordered debt-refinancing bonds despite the dent on public finance. The ministry accused Shin of violating the confidentiality code for public servants and a law on public document management.
But the ministry also was breaking a law by taking such action. A law on whistle-blowers was institutionalized to protect those who report on cases undermining public interests to promote a transparent and clean society. It was established to protect anyone who comes forward for the sake of upholding public interest and the people’s right to know.
The Blue House, government and ruling party are ganging up on Shin as someone who has raised a racket in order to promote a private academy that he will be working for.
Lee Ji-moon, head of Korea Clean Society Headquarters and the person who exposed the military’s meddling in soldiers’ voting in the early ’90s, claimed that attacking whistle-blowers was the typical sabotage used against informants. The Moon administration and ruling party are contradicting themselves since they applauded those who blew the whistle on the Park Geun-hye administration’s wrongdoings for being courageous.
Shin may have violated laws, but his accusations have some grounds: were he to have exposed groundless rumors, the government would have charged him with defamation.
The people are more concerned about the truth behind his accusations. The government will invite more criticism and suspicion if it takes criminal action before coming clear about Shin’s claims.
JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 3, Page 30