Tue, Dec 20, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: DPP urges Ma to clarify Fubon donations issue

QUESTIONS:Amid contradicting claims of the amount donated by Fubon Group, the DPP said neither figures could be found in any of the KMT’s accounting books

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) should provide more information and explanations to clarify the controversy surrounding allegations that the president accepted political donations from the company, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

Ma, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Fubon Financial only have to answer two questions, DPP spokesperson Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said — the exact amount of the donation and when the donation was made.

“Was it NT$15 million [US$500,000] or NT$10 million? Was it made in 2004 or 2008?” Chuang said.

One day after DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) questioned Ma about the donation during the presidential debate on Saturday, the DPP made public court testimony by Fubon Financial chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) from a hearing in August 2009 during the second-round of financial reforms case against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

An attorney for Chen asked Daniel Tsai whether he, his family, Fubon Financial or companies under the Fubon Group had ever made political donations to Ma during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“The Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) had already been passed. I remember we donated to the KMT and we received a receipt. The amount should be NT$15 million,” Daniel Tsai said in his testimony.

Daniel Tsai said on Sunday that his father, Tsai Wan-tsai (蔡萬才), founder and former chairman of the Fubon Group, had testified in court that the group wanted to make a political donation to Ma in 2008, but that Ma had refused to accept it. However, he confirmed that the KMT had received donations from Fubon in 2004 and he had later corrected his testimony.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) told reporters on Sunday that he did receive a donation of NT$10 million from Fubon in 2004 on behalf of the KMT and had signed a receipt despite the fact that there were no regulations on political donations at the time.

However, no information on the Tsai family’s donations could be found in the KMT’s political donation data sheets in 2004 and 2008, Chuang said.

The comments by Ma, Wang and Daniel Tsai were inconsistent, which is why Ma and Fubon Financial must clarify the matter by providing more information, Chuang added.

“The KMT should show the receipt of the Fubon political donation to clear things up,” Chuang said.

While Daniel Tsai said he had corrected his testimony afterward, his updated testimony was not accepted by the court, as evidenced by the final written ruling in November last year, Chuang said, adding that the penalty for perjury would be imprisonment for up to seven years.

The DPP also brought up an old case relating to the merger of Fubon Bank (富邦銀行) and TaipeiBank (台北銀行) during Ma’s term as Taipei mayor, saying that Ma failed to avoid a conflict of interest in the merger.

Ma responded with a press conference at noon yesterday to say he had met Fubon executives twice rather than five times, as claimed by the DPP, adding that the meetings all took place after the merger.

With so much uncertainty surrounding Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司), a biotechnology company that has been at the center of a controversy following accusations by the KMT that Tsai Ing-wen illegally profited from it, the government could not avoid the issue and was obligated to provide a clear explanation to the public, Ma said.

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