Leading by example
WHY HAS THE PARTY LEADERSHIP BOTHered about the seemingly small matter of officials’ smoking habits, to the extent that it issued a notice on Sunday requiring officials not to smoke in public venues, when it might be thought to have bigger fish to fry?
Because such trivial matters have wider repercussions, and requiring officials to set an example by not smoking in public can make a big difference when it comes to how officials, leading officials in particular, behave in public and how people perceive them.
Those who might be promoted to leading positions should have moral integrity, according to the criteria set for official promotion, and in the mind’s eye of the public, they should be role models.
However, reports of some officials keeping mistresses, embezzling public money and leading extravagant lifestyles using public money have created a bad impression, and a few rotten apples have spoilt the barrel.
To deepen reform in all areas for the country’s sustainable economic development and social progress, it is of utmost importance that officials, those in leading positions in particular, are paragons of virtue as required by the criteria for being a true Party member and government employee.
To a large extent, rectifying the behavior of officials is an integral part of the crackdown on corruption and the campaign should help cultivate the awareness that those in official positions should always behave in an exemplary manner and observe the laws.
In 2013, the Party central committee published a series of don’t-dos for officials and Party members, including not visiting private clubs and not holding extravagant burial ceremonies for relatives.
The top leadership has obviously realized that all Party and government officials must first have moral integrity if they are to be respected.
It is impossible for a person who has no idea of how to behave in the correct manner to be a clean and honest official. It is equally unimaginable that ordinary citizens will behave themselves when some officials, even some leaders, set a bad example by maintaining the privilege of exempting themselves from rules.
Many localities have announced a ban on smoking in public venues including office buildings. If officials, leaders in particular, still smoke in their offices or other public venues, ordinary people will follow their example and flout the ban, which undermines the credibility of the law and the government.
The behavior of officials, especially leaders, has much to do with the building of a civilized society.