SEOUL (Reuters) – Resentment has mounted so much in South Korea against what has come to be known as “gabjil”, high-handedness by the rich and powerful, that parliamentarians are proposing legislation to punish some of the worst abuses.
A bill to be presented in the national assembly this month is formally called the “Conglomerates Ethical Management Special Law” but has been nick-named the Cho Hyun-ah law.
Cho, also known as Heather Cho, is the daughter of the chairman of Korean Air Lines and was sentenced last week to a year in prison for an outburst on a Korean Air plane while on the ground in New York. It was considered a severe sentence by some legal experts.
The bill proposes to ban members of the powerful business families known as chaebol from working at their companies for at least five years if convicted of a crime. In earlier cases, some high-profile offenders were pardoned, serving little or no jail time, although recently-convicted chaebol executives have found it harder to avoid prison.