Updated May.27,2003 21:04 KST   


Diagnosing 'the System'

President Roh Moo-hyun says ¡°the most important thing in the Participatory Government is the system by which we run it.¡± He tells his staff ¡°let¡¯s move forward, setting the system right by working out the problems of current affairs of state with this in mind.¡± Having seen the way the government dealt with the trucking strike and the actions of the teachers¡¯ ¡°union¡± Jeongyojo, the people just have to wonder whether this government has any sort of internal system up and running at all.

Affairs of state are not run by a given individual or individuals, but through the organization and various functions with unshakable principles at the top. The government hasn¡¯t had these things in place in dealing with the conduct of various groups in our society, and instead has demonstrated a typical lack of system for going about government business.

Such has of course been the case with the National Education Information System (NEIS), and prior to that there was the trucking strike, the route change for the high-speed railway, the government's position on legalizing the student organization Hanchongryun and the relocation of the Busan futures market. It is unusual enough that one of the closest people to the president, the senior secretary for political affairs Moon Jae-in, has chosen to involve himself in these matters. You cannot say there is a system in place for running the country when Moon is moving behind the curtains when it comes to such issues, overriding the responsible agencies.

The NEIS is a fine example. In a normal situation, it¡¯s something the Education Ministry should figure out; but instead Moon got involved. When whatever Moon says is interpreted to be the will of the president, people naturally think the ministry is being pushed aside.

Add to this the fact that Moon used to be the legal adviser for the Busan branch of the teachers¡¯ organization Jeongyojo. He¡¯s said to be close to individuals within the truckers¡¯ group that held the work stoppage. Now it¡¯s not unreasonable to think ¡°the same kind of people are getting together and having fun among themselves¡± when you see the government siding with groups engaging in organized action when Moon is somehow related, or applying politics to concerns over things like the relocation of the Busan futures market.

The principles spoken of by a president who promised he would deal with groups taking to the streets are nowhere to be seen. The result of recent events would be different if this were a government with a ¡°system¡± firmly in place.

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