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February 1, 2013

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Home » Opinion » Press Notes

Officials' assets must be disclosed to the public

IT is indisputable that a system for declaring officials' assets and property must be implemented.

"Is it legal to ask officials to disclose assets?" asked Ye Pengzhi, a deputy to the Guangdong Provincial People's Congress and chairman of an aluminium company. "Officials have privacy; they are people's civil servants, rather than slaves."

Ye made this provocative statement during a preparatory meeting of the provincial legislature. As a private entrepreneur, rather than an official, he probably was attempting to get publicity for his company by being outspoken.

But Ye misunderstands the meaning of civil service. Officials are not so-called slaves, but they should faithfully serve the public. They do have privacy, but the essential issue here is that public servants supported by tax payers are a privileged class, which can easily acquire large sums or gifts as bribes.

This situation makes it essential for them to declare assets and property.

Deputies to the Peoples Congress are supposed to be conscientious spokespersons answerable to the people. People like Ye do are not worthy of membership.


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