A preceding page of this profile highlighted that whistleblowing
on occasion can be both virtuous and financially rewarding.
It can also be dangerous.
In 2003 for example India was rocked by the murder of
Satyendra Dubey, a government engineer who exposed corruption
in the national highway construction program.
In 2005 Shanmughan Manjunath, a manager at a state-owned
oil company, blew the whistle on a scheme to sell impure
gasoline. Alas, his body was later found, riddled with
bullets, in the back seat of his car.
Less dramatically, Yoichi Mizutani, president of a Japanese
storage company Nishinomiya Reizo, blew the whistle in
2002 on a scam by Snow Brand Food Co. Snow had been mislabelling
Australian beef as domestic beef to benefit from the government's
beef buy-back program following an outbreak of bovine
spongiform encephalopathy ('mad cow disease') in Japan.
Mizutani's reward was an order from the Construction &
Transport Ministry company to suspend operations - a suspension
that lasted 16 months - during investigation of the scam.
Nishinomiya was eventually cleared of participation in
In South Korea former leading prosecutor Kim Yong-chul
attracted criticism among nationalists after exposing
impropriety at Samsung Electronics. He had been Samsung's
top legal counsel before quitting in 2004, going public
with allegations of wrongdoing in 2007 after alleged inaction
by the government after he provided documentation to support
claims of corporate misbehaviour. Those claims were belatedly
addressed, with notional punishment for Samsung's chief
executive Lee Kun-hee. The whistleblower's 2010 exposé,
Think Samsung, has reportedly been ignored by
the mainstream media in South Korea, despite claims that
Lee and associates diverted up to US$9 billion from Samsung
subsidiaries, shredded books, fabricated evidence and
bribed politicians, bureaucrats, prosecutors, judges and
Kim reportedly commented "I am challenging them to
slap my face, to file a libel suit against me, but they
don't. They treat me like a nut case, an invisible man,
although I am shouting about the biggest crime in the
history of the nation". Samsung executives, described
by the NY Times as dismissing the book as "fiction",
commented that "We are seething with anger, but we
are not going to sue him and make him a star again. When
you see a pile of excrement, you avoid it not because
you fear it but because it’s dirty."
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