Sat, Nov 04, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Su pledges to rid national baseball league of gangsters

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said he would not allow gangsters to infiltrate the country's professional baseball league.

"The first thing the government should do is to drive gangsters away from professional baseball games," Su said.

He made the remarks when fielding questions from Chinese Nationalist Party Legislator John Wu (吳志揚) on the legislative floor yesterday morning.

Su was referring to a recent case where La New Bears' pitching coach Lin Kuang-hung (林光宏) was kidnapped and offered money to rig the play-off game between the Bears and the President Lions on Oct. 25.

Sponsors wanted

Su also said that the government would introduce policies to encourage more major companies to sponsor the nation's professional baseball teams.

The easiest way would be to offer tax breaks for companies who agree to be sponsors, Su said, adding that the government was planning to initiate a sports lottery. Income generated by the lottery will be used to support the professional baseball league.

Wu suggested that Su resurrect former premier Hau Pei-tsun's (郝柏村) "Yi-ching Program" but Su immediately rejected the idea.

`Yi-ching program'

The "Yi-ching Program" was an anti-gangster campaign of the martial law era. People who were recognized as gangsters could be arrested immediately without charge and jailed without trial.

"Taiwan is now a country where human rights are highly respected. Such a program is out-of-date and shall not be repeated. We must follow the law even when we are dealing with gangsters," Su said.

Meanwhile, Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) yesterday said police had identified the gangster who allegedly kidnapped Lin.

"National Police Agency Director-General Hou You-yi (侯友宜) told me that the police know who did it but cannot make it public due to a gag order," Lee said.

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