By Xinhua writer Cao Kai
BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Several Chinese local anti-corruption agencies have organized classes for their members to learn basic knowledge about luxuries in order to better fight corruption.
These kind of classes should be encouraged as luxuries have become a new form of corruption in China.
Yang Dacai, a senior work safety official in Shaanxi Province wearing at least 11 pricey wristwatches in different photos, was sacked last Friday. It is the latest example of corruption scandal stemming from luxuries.
The fall of Yang reminds Chinese people of a real estate official named Zhou Jiugeng, whose luxurious cigarettes angered netizens and led to his dramatic downfall.
Unlike cash or a house, small luxuries, including watches, bags, jewelry and cigarettes, are more concealed. The anti-corruption agencies have not been accustomed to treating them as evidence of corruption in the past.
The monthly salary of a Chinese civil servant was around 5,000 yuan (788.6 U.S. dollars) in 2008, including various allowances and welfares, according to the National Statistics Bureau. It would be unjustified to spend years of income to buy a Rolex or Omega watch.
It's not certain that officials wearing luxuries are corrupted. But the luxuries may reveal some clues of corruption.
Those officials who have a number of luxuries should be investigated thoroughly as they are not likely to be able to afford the items with their legitimate income.
As a government official who serves for the public interests, it is also inappropriate to be addicted to luxuries and show them off in a public place.
Luxuries cater for rich people and is out of reach of many of the public. We can not imagine an official wearing a top-notch Vacheron Constantin watch and drinking expensive liquor will care about the people under his administration.
There is nothing wrong for people to pursue luxuries, which in many people's eyes stands for an elegant life. Those officials who consume luxuries should provide evidence to prove their innocence or they will be investigated and punished by law.