Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) yesterday accused first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) of buying 99 Ranch Market, a Los Angeles-based supermarket chain specializing in Asian grocery products, although he didn't provide evidence to support his claim.
"A branch of the supermarket located in Los Angeles was already bought [by Wu]. Although it was Wu's cousin, surnamed Huang, that arranged the deal, Wu provided financial support," Chiu said.
Chiu added, "It would take at least NT$ 10 million (US$312,000) to buy a branch of the supermarket. That price is not affordable for most people."
Chiu made the charge in a press conference but didn't provide further evidence.
He said Huang bought the supermarket branch under the name of the president's son, Chen Chih-chung (
"It is likely that the first family is planning to immigrate to the US after [the president] leaves office in 2008," Chiu said.
At an earlier press conference yesterday Chiu said the president's son-in-law Chao Chien-ming (
Chiu said that Chao and other leading figures often gathered in the Imperial Hotel to scheme and conspire -- and so he calls them the "Imperial Hotel gang."
Chiu said that the members of the gang included former deputy presidential secretary-general Chen Che-nan (陳哲男), deputy presidential secretary-general Ma Yong-cheng (馬永成), the president's lawyer Lin Chih-hao (林志豪).
He said that many illegal lobbying scandals related to Chao were all arranged while dining in the hotel.
In response to Chiu's accusations, the Presidential Office said yesterday that he should turn over his evidence, if he has any, to the police.
In related news, Vice President Annette Lu (
"As the vice president, I feel very ashamed," Lu said. "Let's have a house cleaning and say farewell to corruption."
The undertaking may take some time, Lu said, but fighting corruption should transcend political affiliations. She said that she believes light would soon be seen at the end of the tunnel on this issue.
Lu encouraged those who make mistakes to admit their wrongdoing and the media to refrain from passing judgment before the truth is revealed.
Lu made the remarks yesterday afternoon while addressing victims of violent crimes and those offering help.
Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling
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