Local officials deny replacing anti-corruption cartoons

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-16 0:48:02

Cartoons at a construction site in Changsha, Hunan Province tackling corruption issues will not be replaced, a local official said Thursday.

The denial comes following local media reports which said officials would repaint walls because the cartoons "convey negative energy" and are "excessively ironic."

Some 33 cartoons showing officials' corrupt acts appeared on the walls of a construction site where work ceased, the Xingsha newspaper reported.

Most of the drawings list the ways officials illegally amass wealth. For example, one picture shows a woman tampering with or fabricating invoices and another shows an official receiving a bribe.

Another one portrays some officials on a junket using public funds under the name of field investigation while still another one shows a man taking his daughter to school with a government vehicle.

"The drawings are excessively ironic," the local newspaper quoted a local urban management department employee as saying.

"Someone may have painted public service messages on the wall to promote the government's anti-corruption campaign. However, they convey too much negative energy and unnecessarily place the government in a bad light," the employee said.

The response triggered heated discussion. Many wondered whether the messages indeed conveyed negative energy while others mocked the department's attempt to cover the truth. "Cartoons serve to point out social problems in an ironic way. Why should anyone be afraid of them?" a local citizen said.

Any department or unit who wants to post public service messages should get the urban management department's approval and the contents should be positive and civilized, according to the employee.

"We have contacted an advertising company to repaint the walls and create positive messages," the employee said.

An official surnamed Liang told the Global Times Thursday that the local newspaper has misinterpreted their plan, as the department will "improve the drawings instead of repainting them."

"For example, we will add captions to convey a clearer message. This is necessary because the drawings could create a negative impact and might encourage others to do the same thing," Liang added.

"We are glad to see those drawings highlight corruption and will make efforts to let them reflect the spirit of the anti-corruption campaign in a clearer way," Liang said.

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