Move against misuse of funds

Updated: 2014-12-31 09:19

(China Daily)

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Move against misuse of funds

The anti-corruption museum in Liaoning province is the largest one of its kind in China and is free of charge. [Photo/Xinhua]

The official ban on sending greeting cards by using public funds has been welcomed by the public, because officials should not be "kidnapped" by the formalities of ceremony while ignoring true emotions, says an article on xinhuanet. Excerpts:

The Chinese government has prohibited officials from using public funds to send New Year cards, earning high praise from the public.

Greeting cards are a medium for people to express their love and respect for others. But this simple practice had become a troublesome routine for some civil servants at the end of every year, for instead of just sending greeting cards, they were using the occasion as an opportunity to show off their power by sending expensive gifts misusing public funds.

In Chinese tradition, drinking at the dinner table is a way of showing respect to the host and appreciating his/her hospitality. But this traditional goodwill gesture has gradually become an unavoidable ritual leading to untoward incidents such as health complications and traffic accidents.

It is Chinese tradition, too, to give some money to a newly married couple as a gift and form of blessing. But with the advancement of society and increasing incomes, some people use the gifts to show off their wealth by offering very expensive presents or bribing officials. Once such practices become mandatory, human relationship becomes more of a transaction. And that is precisely what had happened with New Year cards.

Of course, the ban does not forbid ordinary people from exchanging greeting cards to express good wishes. But people have to pay for the cards and postage charges from their own pockets. This is a welcome move because it will remind people of the real meaning of giving gifts and blessings. Gifts and blessings should come from the heart, because without feelings even the most expensive gift is worthless.