Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday dismissed accusations that he fattened his purse by holding a simple funeral ceremony for his father while receiving a large funeral subsidy from the city government.
Ma spent about NT$80,000 (US$2,415) in holding a low-key and simple funeral service for his father Ma Ho-ling (
Ma was responding to an SET TV interview on Monday in which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) was quoted as saying Ma profited by economizing on the funeral expenses, allowing him to deposit most of the funeral subsidy into his own account.
Ma condemned Hsu for lacking humanity by making "cruel and groundless accusations."
"I never planned to make money from my father's funeral. I was very sad at that time, and money was the last thing on my mind," Ma said yesterday at Taipei City Hall.
"I feel very sad that councilors would make such accusations for political reasons," he said.
Hsu yesterday denied ever making such accusations.
"What I said was `I can't say that Ma has made money out of the funeral service.' But the words `I can't say' were cut out by the TV station," Hsu said at a press conference.