A 60-year-old villager in Zhejiang Province carried a communist official wearing leather shoes to prevent them getting wet, while visiting an area severely affected by flooding after Typhoon Fitow.
A netizen from Yuyao City posted a photo of the incident on Sina Weibo on Oct. 14, triggering outrage among netizens.
Voice of China reported that the water was about 2 inches (5 centimeters) deep. The photo shows an old man in gumboots carrying a younger man in leather shoes. Another man and a woman, both wearing gumboots, are seen following behind.
A response was posted on the official Weibo microblog of Sanqishi Town the same day, saying an investigation had been started, and that the official in question is a member of staff. He was inspecting Weijiaqiao Village on the morning of Oct. 13 to console a sick villager, and had been issued with a severe warning.
The next day, the microblog was updated to say that the official is being removed from his post as director of the local government’s construction office.
Some netizens were impressed by the local authorities’ rapid response, but others questioned who exactly the official was.
“If you dare to put on airs, civilians will force you to step down,” said one blogger.
Another commented: “It’s fine if you don’t want to commit to relief work. It’s tolerable to turn up and put on an act of helping. But you shouldn’t have created an extra burden for others. The real question is do you still have sympathy or justice in your heart? Do you understand the importance of loving other people?”
A third wrote: “This official is so delicate! The disciplinary committee should investigate him thoroughly. How much did those leather shoes cost? How much bribe money has he accepted? How many residential apartments has he bought? How much did the watch and belt he’s wearing cost? How many mistresses does he have?”
With translation by Leo Chen.