In a show of its continued efforts to discipline unscrupulous judicial personnel, the ministry announced that it had placed 42 such people, including 31 prosecutors and 11 judges, on the watch list for their suspected unlawful behavior. The same announcement also revealed that a total of 70 prosecutors were disciplined for various offenses last year, double the combined number of prosecutors punished in the previous four years.
This latter figure is quite alarming, as it in a way indicates a rapid deterioration in moral standards among a crucial profession of ours. Why this has been the case deserves deep thinking by the ruling authorities. For now, it can be said for sure that those alarming figures have meant a grave setback for President Chen Shui-bian's long-established anti-corruption policy.
Fighting government corruption and eliminating black gold (money) politics was a central theme raised by Chen in his campaign for both his first and second terms. But five years after he came to power, he apparently is still unable to get the judicial house in order. Without first establishing a clean and efficient judicial system, Chen may never be able to rid the government of corrupt practices.
Quite true -- and the political cost will be great. The Post has spun the facts somewhat -- an increase in double of the number of cases of corruption could be the result of many things, including increased enforcement. It would be nice if there was a more robust analysis of this important issue.
I catch myself saying that a lot these days...