After the Chuseok holiday, the final audit of the 21st National Assembly, which was held in the April 2020 general election, begins. It will be held for 17 days from the 10th. The purpose of the National Assembly inspection is to detect and correct wrongdoings through monitoring and criticism of the overall state affairs. It is the representative legislative function granted to the National Assembly by the Constitution. It is also a venue where the skills of the National Assembly members are revealed in detail. To attract attention, some lawmakers appoint unusual witnesses as the head of the National Assembly.
The National Assembly Health and Welfare Committee chose the representative of the popular Tanghulu franchise as a witness during this audit. Tanghulu is a Chinese snack made by putting fruit on a skewer and coating it with sugar water. These days, it is gaining sensational popularity, especially among teenagers. A welfare committee member said, “This is to inquire about the controversy over excessive sugar consumption by children and teenagers and the problem of street hygiene.” The Welfare Committee also adopted Nam Tae-hyun, a member of the idol group Winner, who was indicted without detention on charges of using Philopon, as a reference for the Welfare Committee. It is said that they plan to ask Mr. Nam about the drug rehabilitation policy.
The Hwannow Committee adopted Lee Kang-seop, CEO of Shani, and Cho Min-soo, CEO of Costco Korea, as witnesses in relation to the deaths of bakery workers and Costco employees. Park Cheol-hee, CEO of Hoban Construction, which caused controversy over ‘bee swarm bidding’, and Vice President Ham Yun-sik of Baedal Minjok operator Woowa Brothers, which was at the center of controversy over excessive commission rates, were listed as witnesses of the Industrial Self-Government Commission.
At the Culture and Sports Committee, Koo Chang-geun, CEO of CJ ENM, is expected to be questioned on suspicion of manipulating the rankings of Produce 101, and Jeong Sang-jin, CEO of At9 Film, will be questioned on suspicion of manipulating the number of viewers for the movie ‘You Are the Motherland’.
It is reported that IT industry executives such as Naver, Kakao, and Meta are also scheduled to be summoned by the National Assembly Inspector General over the issue of sales of counterfeit products on each platform. Korea Baseball Organization and KBO President Heo Heo-yeon was also selected as a witness by the Culture and Sports Committee to investigate the issue of player free agency.
The ruling party’s position is that it needs to be cautious, saying that the adoption of witnesses should not be misused to attract attention. People Power Party floor leader Yoon Jae-ok said on the 26th of last month, “The National Assembly should not place unnecessary burden on companies that are the engine of economic growth and create jobs.” On the other hand, the opposition party said it would make efforts to summon witnesses to reveal the true nature of national affairs. On the 27th of last month, Hong Ik-pyo, floor leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, said, “Through personnel hearings and audits of government affairs, we will inform the public in detail about the incompetence of the Yoon Seok-yeol government and the chaos in state affairs and present alternatives.”
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