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Officials losing ways to hide their nakedness

By Shu Meng (Global Times)

10:55, November 02, 2012

"Naked officials" is a special term referring to public servants whose spouses and children obtain overseas residencies for seemingly shady motives and transfer all their personal assets abroad. A new regulation has been put forward in Guangdong Province recently which says that naked officials should not become chiefs or leading members of key departments, either in government positions or within the Party structure.

From asking naked officials to draw up reports about family members who have emigrated to keeping them away from top jobs, it is clear that more limitations are being put up. Naked officials cannot be directly linked with corruption, but there are high possibilities that, for many, the transfers of assets are motivated by dubious reasons. They should be subject to more restrictions.

The undeniable fact, though, is that naked officials are a warning sign. They face more temptations than other officials. To the public eye, they have a greater tendency toward corruption. It is difficult for the public to feel safe when handing power to such people. Moreover, without ideal extradition mechanisms, once naked officials flee, the country will suffer huge losses.

Of course, officials are citizens whose rights need to be respected. Their spouses and children also enjoy freedom of movement. We cannot prevent officials' relatives from emigrating abroad. However, we should increase oversight to fight corruption at its source.

The increase in the number of naked officials means that they are aware the risks they face are mounting, while the new regulation in Guangdong shows that anti-corruption work is always deepening. Naked officials are not the only ones concerned, but officials whose children are working in domestic government posts need to have their enrollment and promotion criteria verified.

Officials need not feel aggrieved about limitations and supervisions being placed upon them. Compared with the general public, both they and their families enjoy more privileges. Therefore, they have an obligation to make some sacrifices. Officials' families should be a part of this country's future.

If officials trust in China's future prospects, they do not need to send all their family members abroad on purpose. In that sense, banning them from taking key positions is necessary.

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