Planet China

Playing their ace

Playing their ace

‘Lead by example’ is a well-known maxim. So what to make of senior management at the Bureau of Rural Hydropower and Electricification in Kunming, who Xinhua reports to spend most of its afternoons gambling on cards? The scandal – as usual, it broke via the web – was soon working up netizen ire. “How can staff be encouraged to work hard, if the leadership just play cards,” asked one. “Although the betting is not big, how can they mobilise their workers?”

Better was to come, when cardplaying officials explained why they were devoted to their afternoon pastime. The practice was designed, they said, to help their female colleagues overcome menopause. No further explanation was offered after this rather astonishing opening gambit, which did little to change the public’s dim view of their behaviour. The Yunnan Water Resources Department has announced the matter was “under investigation”.

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