A new bill has passed through the National Assembly on Tuesday due to increasing demands from the public to address the rampant corruption issues regarding gifts and monetary favors among business professionals. The new law states that it will be illegal for officials and their spouses to accept gifts or kickbacks over 1 million won. “Kickbacks” will include money, marketable securities, real estate, goods, accommodation vouchers, memberships or coupons. Family members and co-workers have been encouraged to report any violations of this law.
While the law is an effort to curb corruption, some say that the scope of the law is too broad as even receiving small gifts are punishable. Some claim that the breadth of the bill is enough to be considered excessive control by authorities and could promote mistrust among family members.
The Korean government hopes that the passing of this new law will help to boost public trust in the government which fell from 45% in 2013 to 33% in 2014 (Edelman).