A close eye on LeeIt was revealed that Lee Myung-bak, the Grand National Party’s presidential candidate, registered his son and daughter as employees in his building-maintenance company and had them paid even though they allegedly did not work there.
The United New Democratic Party decided to accuse him of embezzling and tax evasion.
Lee explained that his son maintained buildings and his daughter also helped with maintenance so the children were paid a little to pay their bills. But his daughter was registered as an employee while she was abroad so Lee apologized for that as his own mistake.
Registering family members or relatives as employees in one’s company while they do not work there is a common form of tax evasion.
The authorities concerned must investigate and take appropriate measures, such as charging extra taxes.
This case raises a question about Lee’s character, moral values and respect for the law.
He has committed similar illegal acts. While he was chairman of Hyundai Engineering and Construction, he was living in one place but registered another place as his address in order to send his children to schools in a better school district.
While he was serving as a lawmaker, he was involved in helping his secretary, who had committed illegal acts, go abroad. Lee was relieved of his seat in the National Assembly.
The man who has made dozens of billions of won, or dozens of millions of dollars, served as the Mayor of Seoul. He registered his daughter as an employee although she did not work there.
In March, when Lee started his campaign for the presidential election, he registered his son as an employee for his “small” company that maintains buildings.
It is unbelievable that all these illegal acts were committed by the person who served as a National Assemblyman and Seoul mayor and now aspires to become president.
He did a cowardly job in admitting his wrongdoings.
When it was revealed that he had a bogus address registration, he first denied it and later apologized.
This time, the spokesman of the Grand National Party said Lee’s son went to work almost every day and that his daughter worked in the company, too. There was no apology. But as things become more serious, Lee offered an apology.
Because this pattern has been repeated, many voters do not believe Lee’s claim that he was not involved in the BBK scandal.
Lee must look at the mirror late at night and ask himself, “Am I ready to become a public servant?”
He will be harshly tested in the presidential election if he is not determined to part from his former undisciplined self and if he cannot convince voters to believe that he has changed.
Voters will watch his every move until election day.