Thu, Nov 02, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma marks father's death with minibus donation

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

To mark the first anniversary of his father's death, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has donated a specially designed minibus for transporting disabled people to the Taipei City Government Transportation Department.

Ma bought a "Fu-Kang Bus" (復康巴士) -- the public vehicles that transport disabled people -- for NT$1.7 million (US$50,000), using a NT$730,000 subsidy from the government for his father's death that he was entitled to as a public official. The mayor and his sisters contributed the rest of the money.

Ma did not discuss the minibus during a visit to the grave of his father, Ma Ho-ling (馬鶴凌), at the Taipei Municipal Fude Public Cemetery yesterday morning with his mother, Chin Ho-hsiu (秦厚修), and sisters.

But Transportation Department Commissioner Jason Lin (林志盈) confirmed that Ma had donated a minibus in his mother's name.

"There are more than 100 Fu-Kang Buses in Taipei, and most of them are donated by groups. Only a few were donated by individuals," Lin said.

He said the minibus can accommodate two wheelchair-bound passengers.

Ma recently promised to donate the funeral subsidy to charity, after Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) accused him of profiting from his father's funeral by holding a simple service that cost about NT$80,000. Ma dismissed Hsu's accusation but said he would donate the amount of the subsidy to the public.

Ma received the subsidy in accordance with the Guidelines for Treatment of Military Personnel and Public Officials (軍公教員工待遇支給要點), which states that if a parent of a public official dies, he or she can receive a subsidy equal to five months' salary.

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