Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday denied he or his wife played a role in the corruption scandal involving former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世), dismissing accusations that he was involved in the case.
Following accusations that Wu introduced businessman Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) to Lin, who allegedly accepted NT$63 million (US$2.15 million) from Chen to help secure contracts with China Steel Corp (中鋼) and its subsidiaries, the Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday claimed Wu’s wife, Tsai Ling-yi (蔡令怡), had made a phone call to a family friend, Wu Men-chung (吳門忠), to complain about their relationship being exposed by the magazine.
Wu Men-chung, a major votes broker for the vice president in his Nantou County hometown, is the father of Chen’s girlfriend’s daughter-in-law.
The magazine claimed that when Wu Den-yih denied having a relationship with Chen last week, Tsai made a call to Wu Men-chung on the same day and said he should have told Wu Den-yih about his family’s relationship with Chen’s girlfriend, Cheng Tsai-mei (程彩梅), before the magazine picked up the story, prompting Wu Men-chung to publicly clarify the issue.
The magazine also claimed that Wu Men-chung’s wife had accepted NT$10 million from Chen.
The vice president yesterday denied the story and insisted his wife never made the telephone call. He also urged the magazine to stop making groundless accusations about him and his family.
“My wife did not call Wu Men-chung last week. If she did, then we would not be able to clarify the situation and the rumors would spread,” he said on the sidelines of an event in Taipei.
Speculations about the vice president’s involvement in the case first surfaced last week when political commentator Hu Chung-hsin (胡忠信) said a high-ranking government official was also involved in the corruption scandal, claiming that “Mr X” introduced Chen to Lin and implying that Mr X was Wu Den-yih.
Next Magazine also linked Wu Den-yih to the case by claiming last week that Lin bragged about his relations with Wu Den-yih when asking for bribes from Chen, saying he was handling all of Wu Den-yih’s matters.
In other news, the vice president also dismissed speculation that he would run for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship now that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) all-time low support rating has prompted calls for him to step down as the party chairman to focus his efforts on his presidential duties.
The vice president also denied a Next Magazine report that he had collaborated with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to strengthen the anti-Ma force in the KMT.
“I support the president continuing to serve as KMT chairman. I did not attend Speaker Wang’s banquet with local government heads in May. The magazine is making stories up,” he said.
Ma announced on Wednesday last week that he would seek re-election as KMT chairman next year. Wang, a possible challenger to Ma in the election, has denied having any intention of competing.