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Sole candidate for KPA leadership makes absurd demands as 'pledges'
  • By Song Soo-youn
  • Published 2018.02.05 17:19
  • Updated 2018.02.05 17:25
  • comments 0

“The president of KPA should receive 20 million won ($18,338), after tax, in monthly salary, and 2 million won, also after tax, in monthly pension after retirement.”

This statement is one of the demands made by Lim Hyun-taek made, as he was seeking the reelection to become the head of the Korean Pediatric Association. Lim, the incumbent KPA president, is the sole candidate.

Lim made the demand on the KPA website Friday as one of his “campaign pledges,” asking KPA members to “make the right environment” to help him and KPA executives work for the association. Detailed demands – or pledges – Lim made are as follows.

  1. A president gets monthly wages of 20 million won, after tax.
  2. As long as the KPA maintains operation, it pays a retired president 2 million won in monthly pension, after tax. The pension will reflect inflation every year.
  3. The KPA pays directors and vice presidents 5 million to 10 million won per month (after tax), under the discretion of the President.
  4. The president who has worked for the KPA in the past two years (Lim himself) gets a one-time payment of 50 million won (after tax). Directors and vice presidents receive 20 million won (after tax), as one time rewards.
  5. The KPA pays for participation fees when the KPA’s executives attend events of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  6. The KPA pays members their transportation fees and payments for substitute doctors.
  7. The KPA uses more than 800 million won in KPA advancement fund to compensate executives and spend for KPA activities.
  8. Allow raising a fund for KPA members at off-line gatherings and use the fund as “special activity fee” so that the KPA does not have to disclose the usage of the fund.

If Lim’s demands are accepted at the upcoming election, he will receive an annual salary of 300 million won (before tax), transportation fee and other expenses. After retirement, he will get 30 million won (before tax) annually.

The KPA vice presidents and directors will also receive the annual salary of 90 million won to 160 million won (before tax), as well as transportation expenses.

Lim Hyun-taek, president of the Korean Pediatric Association, seeks to be reelected as the KPA’s 17th head.

Lim’s demands for his salary and executive salaries are much higher than those of the president and the vice president of the Korean Medical Association. The KMA president receives 9 million won in monthly wages, and vice president, 8.5 million won. The KMA president’s annual salary is 150 million won, and that of the vice president, 130 million won

“If I get to serve as KPA president a second time, the work will not be much different from what I did in the last term. I’ve been working hard to fix the medical system of Korea so that pediatric doctors can live well and feel proud even when they see a small number of patients. I will continue to do such work,” Lim said. “Help me and my directors work for the KPA so that you will stop worrying that your clinic might go bankrupt or suffer from your family’s nagging that you should quit your job.”

Lim said the reason he wrote the numbers and their uses in detail was that former auditor was excessively scrutinizing every spending of the KPA money, including members’ voluntary funding.

“This is to prevent such awkward thing from happening again. Except for the pension part, my demands will apply for the next two years during which the executive department operates,” Lim said.

‘What kind of campaign pledge is this?’

As expected, Lim’s demands that included a 300 million won annual salary for running the KPA presidency are becoming controversial.

The salary demand is excessive, considering the small size of the KPA, which is run by membership fees, observers said. The claims are not something that an election can decide, the critics said.

To date, the KPA president has received no separate monthly wages, but 3-4 million won a month to settle official expenditures.

“I was so surprised by his election pledges. They are so absurd and unreasonable that no one else will agree with him,” a KPA member said. “KPA members’ fees total about 100 million won a year, but he is demanding 240 million won a year, after tax. If it’s before tax, the annual salary will be more than 300 million won.”

What is worse is that the election will decide such important issue, the member went on to say.

“As Lim is the only candidate running for the presidency, and if he gets elected, he will ask KPA members to accept what he demanded. This is a ridiculous situation,” he added.

Another KPA member said, “I thought he meant 20 million won annual salary, but it was a monthly wage."

"This is too much because you shouldn’t earn money out of the KPA. It would be much better to become KPA president than to see patients or become the KMA president, under his scenario,” the member said.

However, there are also voices that defend Lim, saying “he deserves the reward because Lim has done lots of things as KPA president.”

Responding to criticism that his demands are excessive, Lim said he sacrificed his work for KPA in the past two years.

“If KPA president worries about how to make a living and his KPA work get limited, he can’t work for the entire doctors. Serving as KPA president, my income last year was as low as those earned by physicians at the lowest 5 percent income bracket,” Lim said. “I’m working better than KMA president or heads of other institutions.”

The election for KPA presidency will run from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23, both online and offline. The vote counting will be on Feb. 24. As Lim is the sole candidate, he needs more than 50 percent of votes to get elected.


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