June 10, 2011
Sincerely responding to social concerns and voluntarily maintaining the governments’ “intangible assets” including credibility are the political responsibilities of each party and government cadre. Emergencies would turn into negative factors harming the government’s credibility if they cannot be dealt with well, while proper handling may enhance credibility.
While economic development and social wealth accumulation are tangible, credibility belongs to intangible assets. Just like tangible assets, intangible assets should also be accumulated bit by bit. The difference is that the government’s intangible assets can be lost in a much easier and faster way. The responses of governments at all levels to hot issues and of social concern in recent years have demonstrated the rise and fall of intangible assets.
Following the 2009 Chengdu bus fire tragedy, the government disclosed information in an active and timely manner, which not only resolved various doubts and uncertainties but also united the pubic to face difficulty together with the government. Faced with public doubt about prohibiting groups of migrant workers to appeal for payments during the 2011 Shenzhen Universiade, housing construction authorities lifted the ban and apologized publicly. This not only showed the spirit of Shenzhen as a special economic zone but also effectively maintained the reputation of the local government.
Emergencies would turn into negative factors harming the government’s credibility if they cannot be dealt with well, while proper handling may enhance credibility.
It is important not to blame the information disclosers in the wake of events, but rather we should promote smooth exchange between the government and the public. Furthermore, we must not shift responsibilities after situation is worsened, but rather we should focus on solving practical problems. If emergencies can be responded to in such ways, the outcome will be a win-win result, turning crises into opportunities. The government’s public management and credibility will be improved and the public’s legitimate aspirations and interests of fairness will be realized.
Some officials mistakenly believe that being open-minded to criticism and actively responding to public doubts will damage their image and prestige. However, nobody is always right, and the governments cannot always make the right decisions. When faced with criticism or unexpected events, cadres should not put off their duties or sweep mistakes under the carpet.
It has been repeatedly proven that it is inappropriate, overdue responses that makes things worse and even causes a trust crisis. The crisis could put government officials in a difficult situation where they will be criticized no matter what they do, even when they are doing good things, and people will not trust what they say, even when they are telling the truth.
In a period of social transformation when some conflicts emerge, local governments carry heavy burden and the cadres face great challenges in governance. Despite all difficulties, the Party should adhere to the principle of wholeheartedly serving the people, implement the scientific development outlook and strengthen the belief that “intangible assets,” including public trust, are much more important than “tangible assets” such as economic growth.
Certain local governments are increasing “tangible assets” at the expense of “intangible assets.” More specifically, they have built high-rise buildings, established convenient modern transportation systems, and achieved rapid GDP growth, but the forced demolition, corruption, jerry-built projects and pollution problems have simultaneously reduced public trust in government…
By People’s Daily Online
Excerpted by Zuo Shou
Full article: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90780/91342/7406370.html