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"MB Phone": President Lee’s Direct Phone Line

Posted March. 06, 2008 03:05,   


“MB Phone” is a direct line to President Lee Myung-bak, who pledged to revive the economy by listening to the difficulties of businessmen.

Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said in a briefing yesterday, “It is undecided whether or not the president plans to use his old cell phone number or new one.”

President Lee is considering letting his secretaries answer his phone during office hours and answer them personally during non-official hours.

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Lee Myung-bak said, “Business leaders should be able to call the president. Call me if I become president.”

He is making good on his promise.

Since he was a presidential candidate, Lee Myung-bak uses his mobile phone a lot. He calls suddenly and surprises people on the other end by saying, “This is Lee Myung-bak.” In the run-up to the GNP primary, he always asked for his cell phone to call supporters whenever he got into his car.

After being elected, Lee called in person those who he wanted for his government. GNP lawmakers who received Lee`s call said his personal call made a deep impression.

Once becoming president, he got a cell phone with speed dial to his secretaries and talks with them frequently.

In Japan, a type of phone similar to "MB Phone" was once very popular. Lat Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo boosted his approval rating from 25 percent early in his term to 50 percent by becoming a leader for ordinary people by implementing the “Obuchi phone.” He frequently made surprise phone calls to important people. Rather than letting his secretary’s make the call, he called in person and surprised them saying, “Hello, this is Obuchi.”

“Obuchi phone” was also used to contact ordinary people. The prime minister called ordinary people to congratulate or to console them.