Home >> OP-ED

Officials must pay high price for moral weakness

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-5 23:58:02

Four court officials, including Chen Xueming, chief of the No.1 civil court of the Shanghai Higher People's Court, have been accused of having visited a nightclub and soliciting prostitutes in June. 

The scandal caused a stir among the public after being brought to light. These four officials were suspended from their positions and put under investigation Sunday.

The image of judges will surely be damaged by the scandal. The four judges went to nightclubs together and solicited prostitutes. They seemed to believe this was not a shameful thing and that keeping it secret was unnecessary.

It's obvious that the four underestimated the supervisory power of society and public opinion.

But the supervision within the system over such behavior from officials is weak. If the circle of judges in Shanghai held a zero-tolerance attitude to soliciting prostitutes in nightclubs, even if the four judges had been addicted to prostitutes, they would not have gone together with such abandon.  

Nightclubs are all across China. They have become popular places for entertainment, where some officials have also become embroiled. Given the subtle connection between visiting nightclubs and soliciting prostitutes, it's likely those officials were also engaged in the latter illegal activity.

Nearly all officials caught visiting prostitutes have received disciplinary punishment. The officials know that their political life will come to an end once their actions are exposed, but this hasn't translated into strong moral discipline.

It's reported that the nightclub that the four court officials visited is one located inside a hotel designated for official receptions, which deserves our reflection.

Besides putting limits to power, building a strong sense of moral discipline among officials is also an urgent matter. Officials should understand that acting in accordance with high moral standards is not merely a slogan.

With requirements on officials becoming stricter, once their illegal actions are exposed, they will pay a higher price.

To be frank, improving the moral standards of Chinese officials in a short time under the current situation is a difficult task.

But this should not be used as an excuse to defend the corruption of some officials. We think it's necessary to severely punish those officials who engage in soliciting prostitutes and forbid officials from visiting nightclubs.

Due to the subtle ties between nightclubs and the sex trade, even officials who have normal and legal entertainment activities in nightclubs will be the subject of public suspicion and their image will be affected.

Therefore, forbidding officials from visiting nightclubs will, in fact, protect them.
Posted in: Observer