By Lee Tae-hoon
Jasmin Lee, a naturalized Korean, who is on the list of proportional representative candidates for the ruling Saenuri Party in the upcoming parliamentary elections, is facing criticism for allegedly lying about her academic background.
Lee, secretary-general of non-profit organization Sharing Water Drops, claimed in media reports over the past several years that she entered a prestigious medical school in the Philippines after scoring 99 out of 100 in the college entrance exam.
She told the media that she dropped out of school after meeting her late Korean husband.
It was, however, found that she told some media outlets that she studied biology rather than medicine and that she left school after becoming pregnant to come to Korea.
The Saenuri Party, however, downplayed the reports, saying it would have been natural for her to regard it as medical school as biology is a pre-med course there.
On its website it posted a captured image of the "Frequently asked questions" from Ateneo De Davao University, where she attended.
Under the title, "What is the pre-med course in Atneo", it describes "the BS Biology program is the course generally taken by Ateneo students in preparation for medical school. On the whole, 100 percent of the graduates of BS Bio have been admitted to Davao Medical School and top medical schools of the country".
Lee has lived in Seoul for 17 years after marrying her Korean husband, a sailor, in 1995. Her husband passed away two years ago.
According to a senior Saenuri Party lawmaker, she was excluded from the list of proportional representative candidates for the governing party four years ago because she was found to have exaggerated her career on her resume.
She became famous after she appeared in the movie "Punch", which was released last year and drew 5.3 million moviegoers. She acted as the mother of the lead actor.
Lee is expected to be the first naturalized Korea to become a legislator as she was placed 17th on the Saenuri Party's list of proportional representatives.
Of the 54 proportional representative seats, the Saenuri Party won 22 in the previous parliamentary elections.
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