July 11th, 2012 | Shanghai Daily Demolition jobs hotbed for bribes
THE Legal Daily reported on Monday that Wang Lisheng, an official overseeing demolition work in Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province, was indicted on 27 counts of economic crime. He allegedly took bribes to the tune of 29 million yuan (US$4.5 million).
Wang was reportedly very cautious. Whenever he met with acquaintances, he would frisk them to see if they had recording devices; when someone bribed him with wads of cash, he didn’t need to count, a touch told him how much he got; at his office, Wang improvised a secret cash stash in a hollow corner of his sofa.
With urbanizing gaining momentum in China, demolition has been commonplace. It should have been carried out in the public’s interests, but now demolition is more a personal business for some venal officials and a hotbed of corruption.
In a similar case, Zhang Weiguo, a deputy township governor in Beijing, was recently prosecuted for accepting bribes and committing fraud.
He fabricated a story of demolition and swindled over 2.59 million yuan in compensation funds from higher authorities. He split the money with accomplices.
These two cases have highlighted the rampant sleaze in demolition. Oversight of demolition must be strengthened to stamp out fat cats like Wang who feast on ill-gotten gains.
For this purpose, every step in a demolition project ought to be placed under the public spotlight, so every single wrongdoer will be penalized and social justice be safeguarded.