"Vice-mayor pleads for leniency
He appealed for suspended death penalty in view of contributions to the Olympics. -Tue, Oct 28, 2008 AFP
BEIJING - BEIJING'S former vice-mayor appealed on Tuesday a suspended death sentence for corruption and urged judicial authorities to show leniency due to his contributions to the Olympic Games, state press said.
Liu Zhihua, 59, was sentenced to death earlier this month but with a two-year reprieve. Such rulings typically result in the death sentence being commuted to life in prison.
In his written appeal, Liu, formerly in charge of Olympic construction, said his 'useful advice' to builders was a contribution to the successful Beijing Games and grounds for leniency, Xinhua news agency reported.
Liu was stripped of his government post in June 2006 on suspicion of corruption.
This has been widely reported in the Chinese-language press to include bribe-taking, illegal loans, and abusing power to manipulate the awarding of contracts. Liu also was believed to have kept several mistresses, some of whom he reportedly enriched through his illegal activities.
He was convicted of taking 6.97 million yuan in bribes as vice mayor and director of a Beijing science park from 1999 to 2006.
China's ruling Communist Party has struggled in recent years to contain rampant graft and embarrassing sex scandals involving government officials, with leaders regularly warning such episodes threaten the party's legitimacy."
It is interesting to learn of the ground for appeal against such a capital sentence. In fact, twisted it seems! Contribution to the success of the Olympic Game!! Is it that important that corrupt officials be pardoned because they 'contributed' to the success of a man-made event?
Lessons to be learned:
1. to be good is the best reward. We don't do good because we contribute. We do good because it makes the world a better place to live in, it makes more people happy and living meaningful lives. It is not an excuse for leniency! It cannot be the reason for not taking responsibilities for the wrong that we have done!;
2. when we do 'bad' we should really be reminding ourselves that we can fool some people sometimes but we cannot fool everyone all the time. We should have considered the inevitable consequence when we do bad! In some religions it is called: Karma! You harvest what you sowed!;
3. it is regretful when we are in a position to make positive changes to the world for the better and for more people, we have leaders who fell to the temptation of fame and fortune for themselves. As leaders we can effect significant changes to the world, to the people we work with and lead, we must take this responsibility seriously. Do not let yourself down as when you do you had just let a most wonderful opportunity to do good escape you!!
May the Vic-mayor's appeal be rejected and that he learned it is not that simple to simply said: i contributed to the Olympic. Honestly, the Olympic movement does not need a corrupt official to contribute!! ;-)