Fri, Jul 19, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Interior minister denies golfing on China Steel's tab

By Tsai Ting-i  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) yesterday denied receiving any free entertainment from China Steel Corp (中鋼), in reaction to an allegation contained in a biography of a former China Steel president that the corporation paid some NT$1.35 million to entertain Yu last year.

"China Steel's Japan branch just made some golf club reservations for us. Each of us paid some NT$70,000 to NT$80,000 for that Japan trip. We didn't receive anything from China Steel," Yu told reporters yesterday.

Yu added that he took the trip during his personal vacation.

Article 122 of the Criminal Code states that public officials who receive "improper benefits" will be subject to prison terms of no less than three years and no more than 10.

The allegation comes in a biography, released yesterday, of Wang Chung-yu (王鍾渝), who spent 30 years at the China Steel and was replaced in June 2000.

The book was written by senior journalist Liu Yu-jean (劉玉珍), who investigated China Steel and Wang's 30-year career there for about two years.

Liu's allegation about Yu is one example she cites to support her contention that China Steel's squeaky clean culture changed after Wang was replaced by Kuo Yen-tu (郭炎土), who was appointed amid complaints from opposition politicians that he was a DPP crony.

Her book states that China Steel paid NT$1.35 million for Yu and his friends to play golf and stay at a hotel in Japan's Oita Prefecture last August and early September. Yu was commissioner of Kaohsiung County at the time.

Liu said yesterday, "I saw an invoice issued by China Steel's Japan branch to China Steel headquarters listing expenses incurred by Yu and his friends in Japan. It states that the president of China Steel had given the order to entertain Yu and his friends."

"No China Steel officials have denied entertaining Yu. And China Steel started investigating who leaked the information after I began my investigation," Liu added.

The Commission of National Corporations under the Ministry of Economic Affairs replaced Wang with Kuo despite objections from legislators and China Steel's employees in June 2000.

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