TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A South Korean soap opera or K-drama ‘Encounter’, starring by Song Hye-kyo and Park Bo-gum, has made its popularity to Indonesia.
Apart from the love story of the main characters Cha Soo-hyun and Kim Jin-Hyuk, the background of the drama has some similarities with the political havoc happened in South Korea during the former President Park Geun-hye era that involving Samsung Electronics deputy chairman Lee Jae-yong.
The following are 3 similarities between Encounter and South Korean political scandal:
1. Politician and businessman relationship
In Encounter told the character Cha Soo-hyun, played by Song Hye-kyo, was a daughter of a well-known politician in South Korea. Soo-hyun was set in an arranged marriage to the heir of a giant business owner for the sake of her father’s political interest.
In reality, a relationship between politician and business in 2017 in South Korea received a harsh critic. As quoted by nytimes.com, a charity event organized by former President Park involving the shareholders of South Korean giant firms had been abused.
Through the charity fund that they gave, the business owners were allegedly asked the government to make them leading the business in the country without having to pay the tax or to be able to make business deals under their own policy. The deal was allegedly aimed at consolidating their business kingdom.
South Korean big companies are usually family-controlled businesses, which include Samsung Electronics. Lee Jae-Yong is the son of Samsung Group Chairman and grandson of Samsung founder Lee Byung-Chul.
The current administration of South Korea, led by President Moon Jae-in, has cleaned the government from the power of the South Korean conglomerates known as chaebol. It was done to end the special treatment for the elite conglomerate despite their business giving positive impacts for the economy of the country.
Korean drama Encounter also highlighted a relationship between Cha Soo-Hyun and her secretary Jang Mi Jin, who was also an old friend of Cha So Hyun. Jang Mi Jin was not event reluctant to scold her boss when giving advice as a best friend.
This is similar to the relationship of former President Park and Choi Soon-Sil. South Korean media reported that Choi is a good friend of former President Park, as quoted by britannica.com, but he has crossed the line since he had edited presidential speech and even read presidential material.
The investigation team had found evidence that Choi had influenced President Park where he was not even posted in any governmental position.
3. Jail Sentence
In Encounter, Cha Soo-Hyun’s father was finally jailed after several examinations and admitted his mistake for receiving the illegal fund. In reality, this also happened to Lee Jae-yong, the heir of Samsung.
In February 2017, Lee Jae-yong was arrested and charged for his role in a political scandal and cooperation involving President Park. He was accused of giving donations worth 41 billion won ($36m) to non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, in return for political favors.
A scene at 15th episode showing reporters chased and gathered around Cha Soo-Hyun’s father was similar to when South Korean media reporters chased Lee Jae-yong and President Park. The pictures of when they came out of the attorney's office and inside the car, as well as the reporting about the case were also similar to several scenes at the Encounter.