Sat, Nov 18, 2006 - Page 3 News List

President calls for clear-cut rules on allowance fund

By Shih Hsiu-chuan, Jimmy Chuang and Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) suggested the establishment of clear-cut rules for government officials regarding the use of special allowance funds, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday.

Wang told the press that he was asked to see the president on Thursday night, amid recent corruption allegations over Chen's use of the "state affairs fund."

Wang said that the corruption allegations made against Chen and the alleged irregularities found in Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) use of a special allowance fund were not discussed during the one-hour meeting.

"We didn't talk about the problems that happened in the past. We talked about how to establish rules and regulations for the future," Wang said.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday that consistent standards should be applied when examining public figures.

Ma's case was a good example, Su said.

"It shows that nobody is perfect. Everybody will have his time to be examined and there is no exception," Su said. "I think it is a good thing. It shows that everybody will be treated fairly in terms of justice."

When asked to comment regarding Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) statement on Thursday that every government official's special allowance fund should be examined for misuse, Su said he seconded the idea.

"Now that this issue has become a focus for the public, it will be a good thing and a good chance for everybody to examine the mechanism and fix the leaks," he said.

Meanwhile, DPP legislators Kao Chien-chih (高建智), Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳) and Charles Chiang (江昭儀) told a press conference yesterday that they would bring a lawsuit against 27 incumbent and retired government officials who had been granted special allowance funds next week.

The proposal was seen as a move to counter the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) motion passed in a meeting of the legislature's Organic Laws and Statutes committee, which demanded that central government officials who have received special allowance funds since January 2004 submit spending reports within two weeks.

The KMT's proposal was targeted mainly at DPP officials, while the lawsuit to be filed by DPP would investigate many KMT heavyweights, including Wang and former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

In related news, Chen said yesterday that he was willing to dedicate himself to establishing a comprehensive system for regulating the fxfice of president during the remainder of his term in office, which ends in May 2008.

Saying that he inherited a legacy that was more complex and intertwined than "anyone could have imagined" when he assumed his presidency in 2000, Chen said that in a democracy, all outdated presidential systems and practices should be reviewed.

Chen made his remarks in a speech delivered at a conference on transitional justice held by the Taiwan Historical Association.

Chen said that during the rule of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), "the salary and preferential treatment given to the president lacked clear-cut regulation and the lines between the party and the nation, even the family and the nation, were thin, although no one dared touch upon the issue."

As an example, Chen said that after Chiang Ching-kuo passed away in 1988, his wife Faina Chiang (蔣方良) continued to live in his former official residence located in Dazhi (大直) until she passed away in late 2004.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top