[Letters] Government mandate on occupations of foreign spouses

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[Letters] Government mandate on occupations of foreign spouses

Seeking to protect “the social order and ‘good’ social conduct,” the Korean Justice Ministry announced last week that it will ban foreign spouses of Korean citizens from working in nighttime entertainment venues such as nightclubs, massage parlors and singing rooms.

In taking this step, the Justice Ministry claimed that it is promoting a “proper” multicultural family environment.

The officials responsible for this measure evidently believe that their positions in government give them an unusually keen sense of morality. Yet, as the recent sex-charged corruption scandal in Busan shows, government officials have hardly shown themselves to be noble guardians of “good social conduct” or “proper” family environments.

Quite simply, no moral transformation occurs when a person moves from the private sector to the government sector.

Government officials have the same foibles as everyone else, but by dint of their position they have the power to force their values upon society.

As the ongoing scandal in Busan shows, more often than not government officials’ pronouncements on morality merely serve to highlight their arrogant hypocrisy.


Aaron McKenzie,

a graduate student at the Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy & Management, Seoul
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