Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he would resign from his post as the KMT chairman if he were indicted by prosecutors on corruption charges.
"According to KMT regulations, my party membership will be suspended if I am indicted," Ma said at a municipal event in Beitou.
Ma was referring to the party's "black gold exclusion clause."
Under Ma's chairmanship, the regulations were tightened to impose tougher restrictions on party members and candidates, stating that KMT members would be forced out of the party if indicted.
The old regulations stated that a member could only be suspended if found guilty in a trial.
Ma declined to say whether he would also resign as mayor.
"We will talk about this at a proper time. Right now we are focusing on clarifying the situation as soon as possible," he said later at the city hall.
Ma's eight-year term as Taipei mayor will finish at the end of next month.
Acknowledging that he was "not feeling so great" about the scandal, Ma dismissed the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) accusations that his savings have recently increased rapidly.
"I already made public my savings records, on May 19. The time to declare my property again is in December," Ma said, adding that he would take the opportunity to make public his property at that time.
Ma explained that most of the increase in his property holdings came from his own personal wealth, saying that both he and his wife belong to a high-income group, and have been too busy to spend their money. As such, the two are able to save most of their incomes, he said.
DPP lawmakers yesterday accused Ma of disposing of his assets after he came under suspicion for embezzling public money.
"A staffer of [Taipei] Fubon Bank told me that Ma had sent certain sums of money, each above NT$500,000 (US$15,165), to social groups as personal donations," DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) told a press conference.
DPP lawmakers estimated that Ma might have embezzled some NT$17.65 million from the mayoral special allowance fund by diverting half of the fund, or NT$170,000, into his personal account every month since he assumed office.
"Ma has to explain why he chose to make the donations at this time," she added.
Earlier yesterday, dozens of DPP lawmakers called press conferences one after another attacking irregularities in Ma's use of his mayoral fund.
DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said Ma didn't dare to disclose the original receipts for the fund as many of them were for his personal use.
"A secret source told me that Ma had sought reimbursement from the public fund for his razor blades. Someone also told me that about 11 high-level city government officials get together every night to collude in false confessions for the irregularities," Hsu said.
Taipei City Government Secretariat Director Lee Shu-te (李述德) later yesterday denied Hsu's claims.
When asked to release copies of the receipts, Lee once again refused.
"If we published the copies, what would the prosecutors think?" he asked.
Meanwhile, Ma told the press last night that he had decided to donate NT$10 million to 11 public welfare groups using part of the money from his special allowance fund that did not require receipts.
"I have donated NT$6 million [yesterday] and will donate NT$4 million on Monday," he said.
Ma said he had donated NT$5 million before, and decided to donate another NT$10 million from his special allowance fund from 2003 to this year.
also see stories:
MOA warns on unused funds
Ma aide details role in receipt fraud
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts