Sun, Oct 16, 2005 - Page 3 News List

China Steel chairman steps down

QUITTING Lin Wen-yuan said he would hand in his resignation to the finance ministry tomorrow amid a furor over a stock bonus he received from the firm

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

China Steel Corp (中鋼) chairman Lin Wen-yuan (林文淵) last night announced he would resign from his post and give his official letter of resignation to the Ministry of Finance tomorrow.

Lin made the announcement amid recent heated debate surrounding his annual stock bonus from China Steel Corp, worth about NT$44 million (US$1.31 million). A large group of pan-green legislators had demanded that Lin, as a government representative in the company, give up the bonus and return it to the national coffers.

At a press conference last night, Lin reiterated that the work he had done for the firm was evident and that the bonus reflected the company's improved performance.

Saying he would not stay in the position under any circumstances,Lin added that he would give the entire bonus to charity.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Office yesterday disputed a media report that quoted President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) as saying that it would be difficult for Lin to return the bonus because he had already used it as political contribution to his fellow Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members.

"Lin is actually not a greedy person. He has financed many [DPP] politicians by helping them raise campaign funds and donations ... to the party [DPP]," Chen was quoted as saying in the report by the Chinese-language newspaper the China Times yesterday.

The report said Chen made the remarks at a meeting prior to a dinner party on Thursday night with DPP administration officials and DPP lawmakers.

Denying the report, the Presidential Office's Department of Public Affairs yesterday said "the quote quoted in the newspaper actually was not made by Chen but another attendee."

The Presidential Office said that what the president had actually said -- following remarks made by other people attending the meeting -- was that it was impossible for Lin to finance fellow DPP members with the bonus because he knew that Lin hadn't received a cash bonus from China Steel and that Lin hadn't sold the stock bonus.

DPP caucus whip Jao Yung-ching (趙永清), who was present at the meeting, said yesterday that while the president mentioned that many DPP members had asked for Lin's help in donating to the party, "Chen didn't mention that there was any difficulty for Lin to return the money."

At the press conference last night, Lin said it was impossible for him to finance others with the China Steel bonus because he hadn't received cash and had not sold the stocks. Lin also vented his dissatisfaction with the media for making "fabricated reports."

Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), director of the DPP's Department of Culture and Information, yesterday also responded to the China Times report.

There is no donation from the China Steel Corp or in the name of Lin personally, Cheng said, adding that "the DPP receives donations in accordance with the Political Contribution Act (政治獻金法)."

Additional reporting by Jean Lin

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