"Chinese villagers kneel to petition against corruption - Wed, Apr 21, 2010 China Daily/Asia News Network
A THRONG of villagers in Zhuanghe city of Northeast China's Liaoning province went down on their knees in front of the city's government building on April 13 to ask that the government investigate village officials' corruption, Rednet.cn reported Wednesday.
The city government confirmed Tuesday that there were villagers in front of the government building on April 13 and that they were handling the villagers' request, but declined to elaborate.
More than 1000 villagers went and waited for a long time to see the Mayor who never showed up. Subsequent calls to the government confirmed that they are handling the complaint though they refused to reveal any details."
I am sure such an incident is happening elsewhere in China where the rapid economic progress also throw up many opportunities to make quick money using or abusing one's official position relating to land clearing and inadequate or non-existence relocation or resettlement payment.
It reminded me of my favourite pastime with my grand father who enjoyed watching Teochew operas where the tales of suppressed and oppressed ordinary citizens appealed to a clean and upright official who was dispatched by the Emperor to go around the country to clear up any mistrial or malpractices by local government officials! It looks like China has not changed much as far as this aspect is concerned! Or it will not or never change as it is human nature to succumb to greed!?
Lessons for me are:
1. if you are in a position of authority and public trust, you have to do the right thing and not to enrich yourself to the detriment of the people you are supposed to serve. Period. No IF or BUT about it;
2. if one does go astray and committed abuses, it will be found out out. Just a matter of how soon! Like the Chinese saying: "Paper cannot keep the fire under wrap!". Even if the informant(s) suffered great tragedy and pains, they will find a way to tell on you when it becomes unbearable!;
3. will the higher authority take heed and do the right thing if the lower level officials did not? They will as playing deaf and blind will not be an option as the voices of the angered public who were done wrong will be so loud and some sharp that the deaf and blind will hear and see! It was unfortunate that the Mayor, the higher authority in this situation, did not do the right thing of receiving the over 1000 kneeling villagers. Maybe she or he was not informed, which is hard to accept as it is a big thing for so many people to be surrounding your office site without being informed! It will attract undue attention and maybe a small storm that could have been handled easily swelled into a big storm with much greater force of destruction!!
May the villagers get what they are looking for in this case. May the leaders in higher authority do the right thing. Soon... or there may be chaos and anarchy!!