Superstitious officials a shame

Updated: 2014-05-14 08:18

(China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

That some officials use public funds to cater to their superstitious beliefs shows that there are loopholes in the supervision on public funds, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily. Excerpts:

It's not uncommon to find superstitious officials nowadays. A China Association for Science and Technology report on people's scientific awareness shows that about 2 percent officials and civil servants are superstitious. Considering the huge number of officials China has, the figure is not small.

One such superstitious official seems to be Xu Mengjia, Party secretary of Ya'an in Sichuan province. Xu is under investigation because Ya'an residents and officials complained that he increased the expenditure on the Xishu Ladders in Jinfeng Mountain from 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) to 20 million yuan on the advice of his feng shui master.

Lack of scientific knowledge and loss of faith in oneself gives rise to superstition. Some officials want to be blessed or "guided" by divinities to get a quicker promotion and earn more money. The fact that they seek promotion by resorting to superstitious practices instead of working hard and excelling in their jobs suggests that some hidden rules play a role in promotions, even if that is not the case.

Officials have no right to use public funds to provide for their superstitious practices. And if they do so, it reflects the lack of proper supervision on officials and the use of public funds.

If the higher authorities don't take measures to spread scientific knowledge among officials in general and stop the misuse of public funds by superstitious officials, it will be impossible to prevent incidents like the Xishu Ladder (called "promotion ladder" by Ya'an residents).