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Remove the taint of cronyism in South Korea

来源:FT中文网    2018-02-08 07:24

        Immediately after receiving a presidential pardon that cleared his conviction for tax evasion in 2009, Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung, led South Korea in a successful bid to host the Winter Olympics.        2009年,被判犯有逃税罪的韩国三星(Samsung)董事长李健熙(Lee Kun-hee)获得了总统的特赦,随后,他带领韩国成功申办了2018年冬季奥运会。
        In what looks like fortuitous timing, an appeals court on Monday halved the five-year corruption sentence of Mr Lee’s son, Lee Jae-yong, and suspended it for four years, allowing him to walk free in time for the opening of the Pyeongchang Olympics on Friday.        无独有偶,韩国一家上诉法院本周一将李健熙之子李在镕(Lee Jae-yong)因贪污罪所获的5年刑期减半,并缓期4年执行,这样一来,他正好来得及以自由之身参加周五平昌奥运会(Pyeongchang Olympics)开幕式。
        South Korean politicians from both parties, as well as ordinary citizens, have reacted with outrage. Since the country emerged from the devastation of the Korean war, its economy has been dominated by family-run conglomerates known as chaebol.        这激怒了韩国两党政客及普通民众。自朝鲜战争结束后,韩国的经济一直由家族企业集团把持,这种集团被称为财阀(Chaebol)。
        The combined market capitalisation of the five biggest groups accounts for more than half of the Kospi, the main Korean stock index. Samsung’s 16 listed entities alone account for nearly 30 per cent. But the opacity of these companies, the impression of cosy relations between them, the government and the judiciary have created the “Korea discount phenomenon”, where local companies trade at lower price-to-earnings multiples than their global peers.        五大集团的市值总和占韩国综合股价指数(Kospi,韩国主要股指)市值的一半以上。其中仅三星的16个上市实体就占了近30%。但这些公司的不透明、以及它们与政府和司法机构之间似乎相互通融的关系造成了“韩国折扣现象”,即韩国企业的市盈率低于全球同行。
        The corruption case against Lee Jae-yong for bribing former President Park Geun-hye was seen as a test of the government’s commitment to clean up Korea Inc and reduce the power of the chaebol. As Samsung’s vice-chairman and heir apparent to his father, who has been incapacitated since a heart attack in 2014, Lee is a potent symbol.        人们认为,李在镕被控向韩国前总统朴槿惠(Park Geun-hye)行贿一案,是对韩国政府肃清韩企业界风气和降低财阀权力的决心的考验。李健熙因心脏病自2014年起失去了行为能力,作为三星副会长及其父的继承人,李在镕是一个有力象征。
        That is why the timing and circumstances of his release are so unfortunate. The overwhelming impression among Koreans and international observers is that the courts are returning to bad old ways, reserving special leniency for the business elite.        这就是为什么他被释放的时间和形势是如此令人遗憾。韩国及国际上的观察人士们普遍认为,韩国法庭故态复萌,对商界精英奉行特殊的宽大处理。
        They have been offered a reminder of the words of a judge who in 2008 suspended the sentence for embezzlement of Hyundai Motor’s chairman, saying he was too important to the national economy to go to jail.        观察人士们再次想起了2008年,因侵吞公款获罪的现代汽车(Hyundai Motor)董事长郑梦九获得缓刑,做出这一裁决的法官当时说,郑梦九对韩国国民经济太重要了,不能去坐牢。
        Since Lee was convicted in August, Samsung has reported record operating profits. Its global business has gone from strength to strength. So in this case it is reasonable to argue that improving corporate governance practices and cleaning up Korea Inc is too important to the future of the economy for sweetheart deals to continue taking the place of real justice.        自去年8月李在镕被定罪以来,三星公布的营业利润创了记录。其全球业务越发强大。因此,我们有理由认为,改善公司治理制度和肃清韩企风气对韩国经济的未来太重要了,因此不能让姑息包庇继续取代真正的正义。
        Most importantly, the practice of presidential pardons for convicted titans of industry must end. The elder Mr Lee was convicted twice and pardoned twice. His son must not receive the same treatment. The next step in his case must be a credible review of the appellate decision by South Korea’s Supreme Court.        最重要的是,必须终结总统赦免被判有罪的工业巨头的做法。李健熙两次被定罪,两次获赦免。他的儿子绝不能再获得同样的待遇。接下来,韩国最高法院(South Korea’s Supreme Court)必须就李在镕的案件对上诉庭的裁决进行可信的复审。
        If the Samsung scion is indeed the victim of a miscarriage of justice, as the appellate court asserted, then a fair and open ruling by the Supreme Court should allow him to go free. Making him a scapegoat for decades of bad corporate behaviour will not serve justice.        如果三星的接班人确实如上诉法院所认定的那样受到了冤枉,那么,最高法院公正、公开的裁决应该让他重获自由。让他成为几十年来糟糕的企业行为的替罪羊,将无法伸张正义。
        But if the Supreme Court rules that the original verdict was correct then Lee should be returned immediately to jail and serve the entirety of his sentence. South Korea has come too far and is too valuable an example of a functioning democracy in Asia for its tired old practices of crony capitalism to continue.        但如果最高法院裁定维持一审判决,那么李在镕应该立即被送回监狱并服完其全部刑期。韩国已经取得了如此大的进展,也是运行良好的亚洲民主制度的一个如此宝贵的例子,所以其陈旧的裙带资本主义的做派不能再继续下去了。
        Samsung is a major sponsor of the Olympic Games and the newly released Lee is expected to attend the opening ceremony on Friday.        三星是奥运会的主要赞助商之一,刚刚获释的李在镕预计将出席周五的开幕式。
        The event will provide a useful moment for him, the country and its leaders to reflect on the Olympic ideal of free and fair competition.        本届冬奥会将为李在镕、韩国及其领导人提供一个良机,让他们思考奥林匹克自由和公平竞争的理想。

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