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    Jul 29, 2016

    Hyundai heir 'told chauffeurs to flout traffic rules'


    PUBLIC distaste for the rich and powerful has found more backing in South Korea after a third-generation heir of the Hyundai empire was exposed to have laid down ridiculous rules for his chauffeurs in a 140-page manual, including telling them to ignore all traffic rules when running late.

    The 12 chauffeurs whom Chung Il Sun had employed over the last three years "risked being verbally abused if they violated his rules", a source from the civic group which helped bring the chief executive officer of Hyundai BNG Steel to book told the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper.

    "Physical assault or pay cut might also happen," the source added.

    The Labour Ministry has found at least one case in which a driver was allegedly assaulted with a briefcase by Mr Chung, reported the Chosun Ilbo daily.

    But the victim refused to come forward to give statements.

    According to the newspaper, one rule in the manual reads: "When told to drive quickly, the priority is to get to the destination without any regard for traffic lights, lanes, speed cameras and bus-only lanes."

    Other instructions included "keep making wake-up calls (to) the boss until he picks it up" and "handwash your clothes if the laundry service fails to do so in less than an hour", reported The Korea Times.

    The Mediapen website also revealed that the scion wanted his door bell to be pressed in a certain way and the newspapers had to be positioned "correctly".

    While all these demands are over the top, Mr Chung, 45, is likely to face only charges for having made some of his drivers work up to 80 hours a week, far exceeding the stipulated maximum of 52 hours.

    No legal clause provides grounds to prosecute him on the other abuses, said the labour ministry.

    Mr Chung, who is the grandson of Hyundai founder Chung Ju Young, has issued an apology on his company's website blaming his indiscretions on lack of self-control and youthful impulse.

    He has helmed Hyundai BNG Steel, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group that produces cold-rolled stainless steel sheets, since 2011.

    South Korean society looks askance at their tycoons, and Mr Chung's misbehaviour against his drivers would fuel calls to quickly tighten control over the local conglomerates or chaebol (large family-owned business conglomerates) like Hyundai, Mediapen remarked.