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United Daily News: Dire warning of dying professionalism

United Daily News: Dire warning of dying professionalism

A fatal accident at a construction site on Taichung's mass rapid transit system last week and the recently discovered security lapse at an Army base have indicated clearly that "screws are loose." Those incidents also serve as a warning that the rapid decline of professional ethics in various sectors of society could lead to a very gloomy future for Taiwan. In the Taichung tragedy, who would have imagined that the hoisting of 200-ton steel girder would be carried out during rush hour without traffic control or safety zoning? This stark neglect of public security and disregard for the value of human life truly is unbelievable. It appears that this is not just a problem of technical incompetence but rather an issue involving lack of professionalism. We would say it is a matter of failing to honor the building industry's professional code. This is just the tip of the iceberg as it signals widespread loose discipline and disintegration of values. Officials like Yeh Shih-wen and Lin Yi-shih allegedly have been brazenly accepting bribes; military officers like Lao Nai-cheng are now accused of randomly inviting friends and relatives to visit army bases; and people in the construction business are obviously ignoring basic standard operating procedure. Some people may ask, is the problem so dire that Taiwan is heading for a place of no return? Those who doubt the seriousness of the problem should look at the Taichung MRT accident that claimed four innocent lives, at the loss of public confidence in the military's ability to defend the country, and at the string of corruption charges against senior government officials that have shaken the foundation of public trust in government. Is it not obvious that these problems resulted from a loss of discipline? Taiwan is in such a dire situation that one more misstep could lead us off the cliff into the abyss. It is time that all professions and occupations reassert their respective professional code of ethics. (Mini-editorial abstract, April 12, 2015) (By S.C. Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-22 17:13 GMT+08:00