The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) to explain the role he may have played in the Lin Yi-shih (林益世) scandal and again called on investigators for a quick and thorough probe into the bribery allegations.
The Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported on the close relationship between Wu and Lin, who stepped down as Executive Yuan secretary-general amid as widening bribery scandal, as well as the alleged connection between Wu and his wife, Tsai Ling-yi (蔡令怡), and several key individuals in the bribery case.
“Wu has to tell the truth and clarify whether he and his wife knew Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) [head of Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司)] and whether Chen’s father-in-law made arrangements for the two” to help Chen secure a metal recycling contract from state-controlled China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said.
Chen accused Lin of taking a bribe of NT$63 million (US$US$2.1 million) in 2010 to help him land a slag-treatment deal from CSC and of asking for NT$83 million this year to renew the contract.
Wu must explain why he approved the controversial appointment of CSC chairman Tsou Jou-chi (鄒若齊), who retired in 2002 and broke the company’s unwritten rule that no retired employee would be re-hired, in 2010 when he served as premier, Pan said.
Pan urged the Special Investigation Division (SID) to speed up its investigation into related individuals and parties in the scandal, such as several high-ranking government officials and employees of CSC and its subsidiaries.
“We’re making this appeal because Lin and his family could not have arranged the deal on their own without assistance from others,” Pan said, adding that it appeared that the SID’s investigation was limited to Lin and his family.
In an audio recording, Lin was heard saying he could not arrange the contract when he was a legislator without help from others, but now he can make the decision on his own as Cabinet secretary-general, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said.
“The audio clip told us that you need to have someone in the Executive Yuan to get the deal done,” Chen said, adding that when Lin was a lawmaker, that “someone” in the Cabinet could have been Wu.
The integrity of the president and the vice president has to be challenged and questioned at all times, DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said.
“Wu said he did not know Chen and Chen’s father-in-law, but media reports said Wu did. One of them is lying,” Huang said.
While the SID has pledged to investigate “any lawmaker” involved in the corruption case, it did not say that it would go after “any government official” in the case, Huang said.
Huang said he hoped that politics would not interfere with the case and the SID’s probe.
Wu yesterday denied any role in the scandal and insisted that the personnel changes at CSC were made in accordance with regulations.
He accused Lin of exaggerating the nature of their relationship.
Striking back at the accusations made by political commentators and the Next Magazine report, Wu said he and his wife did not know Chen Chi-hsiang and did not interfere with personnel appointments at CSC.
“I don’t know Chen or his father-in-law ... It is clear from the audio clips released that Lin bragged about his power, and who can stop him from exaggerating things to Chen?” Wu said in Keelung.