Thu, Jul 22, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Name mix-up leaves PFP legislator looking foolish

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang points to a diagram to show that the accusation by PFP Legislator Feng Ting-kuo regarding reconstruction subsidies for the ``President's Official Residence'' are completely groundless.

PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUEI, TAIPEI TIMES

A pan-blue alliance legislator was left with egg on his face yesterday, only hours after he revealed what he believed was a major corruption scandal involving the president.

People First Party Legislator Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國) held a press conference during which he showed a paper, issued by the 921 Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Foundation, showing that the Public Construction Commission had given over NT$1.84 million for reconstruction work to the "President's Official Residence."

Feng said that while the standard government subsidy for a house that was completely destroyed was NT$200,000, the presidential residence received more funds than necessary, when it was not even damaged.

Feng then condemned the government for stealing relief funds from earthquake victims.

"This appropriation should be investigated, and any crime must be punished by the Control Yuan," Feng said.

But the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus immediately responded to the accusation.

"The `President's Official Residence' (總統官邸) is just an apartment building in Nantou County, which I pass by every day," DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said.

The revelation about the apartment building's name sent a wave of laughter through the press conference.

"It is a building that existed before the 921 earthquake, but was demolished by the temblor. It was then rebuilt after the earthquake using government subsidies," Tsai said.

Tsai is a legislator from Nantou County.

Feng was unaware that the funds had been given to the "President's Official Residence" apartment building, rather than to the presidential residence.

"The subsidy for the building was precisely the amount listed in the budget plan," Tsai said.

Tsai also showed a document issued by the 921 Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction Foundation (九二一震災重建基金會) in 2002, which announced the initiation of the reconstruction of the "President's Official Residence."

Feng later responded to Tsai's revelation, saying that the government should reserve the term "The President's Official Residence" to be used only for the presidential residence in official documents, to avoid future confusion.

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