We need these laws

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We need these laws

The police rescued a woman trapped in a motel room in the Dongdaemun district of Seoul last week after receiving a call via the police 112 emergency hotline. The police’s action bypassed legal procedures, which was unavoidable in this emergency situation.

The police wouldn’t have had to bend the law if the revisions on the law on information and protection of emergency victims had been passed by the National Assembly. The police wouldn’t have had to think twice about legal issues to save a person in peril. The woman who was raped, killed and dismembered by an ethnic Korean from China in Suwon last week, who called the police hotline for help, could have been saved. Certain legal revisions - which authorize the police to locate victims with the help of mobile phone operators in emergency situations without prior consent from the phone owners - passed the standing committee in April 2010, but has been gathering dust among a mountain of bills at the review subcommittee level for two years.

The 18th National Assembly will soon be dismissed. Before it closes, the members should first finish their job.

There are 407 laws proposed by the government and 6,043 submitted by lawmakers pending at the National Assembly. They will be thrown out once the 18th legislature concludes its term on May 29. Among them are the phone location information law and other urgent legislation related to national security and the economy.

The government’s set of proposals on defense reform that were submitted last May will also be jettisoned. The Unification Ministry fears its plan to raise money for reunification will end up in the trash can, as well.

In terms of the economy, the capital market law is most urgent. Five securities companies have already completed massive recapitalizations expecting the law to pass. The revised pharmaceutical law to allow over-the-counter sales of simple drugs like pain killers, cough drops and anti-indigestion medicine at convenience stores, a bill to stop physical violence at the National Assembly, and legislation to toughen actions against illegal fishing by foreign trawlers are also pending.

These laws are too urgent to wait for the incoming legislative. The new assembly won’t likely be ready to pass laws before August.

Therefore, the incumbent lawmakers must live up to their promises to serve the people right up to the bitter end.
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