Anti-corruption bill gaining traction after ferry incidentUpdated: 2014-05-23 22:49:08 (KST)
An anti-corruption bill in Korea is gaining traction, on public outrage over the Sewol-ho ferry tragedy.
Lawmakers will likely vote on the so-called "Kim Young-ran bill," which is aimed at raising the bar of ethical practices for public officials.
The bill is named after former Supreme Court Justice Kim Young-ran who first proposed it during her term as chief of the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission of Korea.
The bill sets grounds to criminally punish retired and incumbent public officials for colluding with interest groups.
Bribery is defined in the legislation as a tranfer of money or valuables worth more than one-million Korean won, or about 976 U.S. dollars, between a public official and interest group even if the deal is not followed by a favor.
Lawmakers have been divided over the bill.
Some have stood firmly against it since it was first proposed in 2012, claiming the bill would unnecessarily restrict the private lives of public servants.
But there's been a shift after the ferry accident, as public calls have grown louder about reforms, to ensure that similar tragedies don't occur.
The Kim Young-ran bill has been forwarded to the parliament's National Policy Committee for approval.
If it passes there, it will be sent to a full session of the National Assembly, which could pass it as early as next week.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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