Find the truth about bribesThe president of the Korean Medical Association revealed that his group regularly bribed lawmakers. Jhang Dong-ik, the head of the association, admitted it during a conference of doctors in Gangwon province on March 31. Jhang said the association gave 2 million won ($2,100) a month to three National Assembly members.
He also said a lawmaker promised to draw up a new law for year-end tax returns which would be helpful to doctors. In return, the association gave the lawmaker 10 million won in cash.
The association of medical doctors gave bribes to aides of National Assembly members and civil servants at the welfare ministry, too.
Through drinking parties and entertainment, Jhang said, the association made sure the nine Grand National Party aides would work for the benefit of the association.
Jhang also revealed that the association treated civil servants at the welfare ministry to golf outings and even gave them extra money for traffic expenses.
The bribery goes beyond one’s imagination.
It is inevitable that the medical association, which is an interest group, will work hard to persuade lawmakers on behalf of medical doctors. However, such acts must abide by the law.
The association spent 400 million to 500 million won per year in bribes to gain political clout.
Some of that money was delivered under the table or spent to entertain people in power. Those are certainly illegal acts that must be punished.
A lawmaker who is suspected as the target of illegal lobbying activity plans to propose a bill for a new year-end tax return that would benefit doctors.
Also, as it turns out, the recently revised medical laws benefit the doctors.
One becomes suspicious that the results can be attributed to the association’s bribery.
As the controversy continues to flare up, Jhang has denied making bribes and has revealed his intention to step down as president of the association.
Lawmakers who are suspected to have received the bribes also deny the accusations.
But there’s no smoke without fire. Thorough investigations must be conducted of the civil servants at the welfare ministry.
We urge the prosecution to carry out investigations that leave no suspicions.
Related laws that seem to have been passed because of bribes must be reexamined as well.