In ‘Bentley parking space’ controversy, facts are needed to respond to corruption speculation: Global Times editorial
Published: Jun 06, 2022 09:43 PM
A screenshot of a woman threatening to block a parking space with 50 Bentleys. Source: Sina Weibo
A screenshot of a woman threatening to block a parking space with 50 Bentleys. Source: Sina Weibo

The controversy of "50 Bentleys blocking Rolls-Royce" continues to ferment on the internet. Because it may involve an executive of a state-owned enterprise in Shenzhen, the official WeChat account of the Shenzhen State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said on Sunday evening that the commission attaches great importance to this issue and is in the process of verifying information. We believe that Shenzhen authority will give a convincing investigation result, responding timely to public concerns. 

Parking space disputes are relatively common in modern urban life. According to media reports, there is ambiguity between the public and exclusive parking spaces in the community involved, but the fact that the dispute continued for more than a month and broke out in such an ugly and extreme way is really a big shock and exposes some issues that deserve deep reflection. 

Bentley and Rolls-Royce are symbols of great wealth, in sharp contrast to the poor quality shown by their owners in public. The owner of the Rolls-Royce, who was considered to be occupying the parking space, laid down on the ground, with a rogue look that was disgraceful. Another party involved shouted "I have 50 Bentleys that I don't use," which, to a certain extent, reflects the distorted value of pressing people with wealth and is disgusting to the public, although it may be an irritating remark after the person was provoked. It should be noted that people's concern about this incident is not driven by the hostility to the rich, but mainly by a simple sense of justice. Rich people must respect this sentiment and behave in society in a public manner worthy of the wealth they possess. Otherwise, they will fail sooner or later. 

The incident up to this point was a social farce in which the rich was disgraced. But the nature of the incident changed when it was revealed that the "Bentley" woman's husband (or, according to some, boyfriend) might be an executive of a listed state-owned enterprise. State-owned enterprise executives are public servants and their remuneration is transparent. Bentley cars and properties worth tens of millions of yuan are far beyond the normal salary scale of public servants. As a result, the "parking dispute" has become an anti-corruption clue. The investigation by related authorities of Shenzhen is bound to focus on the core concerns of the public. We are not unfamiliar with such an evolution process. Previous online hot-spot incidents all concluded with the officials involved being investigated.

Responsible fact-checking is pivotal. If there is something wrong with this state-owned enterprise executive, he will definitely be dismissed, and no one will cover him up. Of course, if it turns out that there is nothing wrong with him, no one can treat him unjustly either. Only facts can genuinely respond to the public's suspicion toward corruption, and make every public incident an opportunity to accumulate and strengthen public trust, rather than wear it down. Only by respecting the rule of law and defending rationality and common sense can relevant discussions truly build consensus and promote progress at all levels of society.

It should be pointed out that it is one-sided or inaccurate to understand similar incidents from the perspective of "embarrassing their husbands" or "embarrassing their fathers." However, such incidents remind us of the importance of family tradition construction. According to a survey, the corruption of 80 percent of arrested officials is closely related to their family members. This has nothing to do with whether they and their families are low-key or tend to put on an air. The quality of the disguise or the depth of the concealment is not the essence of the problem.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the country has made unprecedented efforts to fight corruption, and the results are there for all to see. Whether it is the resolution to fight every corrupt phenomenon, punish every corrupt official, or the "accidental" exposure of anti-corruption attempts by officials' spouses, all these display a huge certainty: As long as corruption is committed, it will definitely become the target of anti-corruption. "Calamity will befall those who are lacking in virtue." If one's values are distorted, life will become a sieve, and one day the unbearable will leak out. This should be the way to read the "Bentley parking space" incident.