Sat, Nov 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Premier Su says lawsuit spree is counterproductive

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH STAFF WRITER

The controversy over Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) special allowance fund has triggered a cycle of law suits filed by different political parties.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday responded to this by saying that these lawsuits were counterproductive.

"This issue concerns a lot of people and I am quite sure that a case like this will definitely increase prosecutors' work load, which is already full," Su said. "[These suits are] actually killing and destroying each other. It is not worth it at all."

On Thursday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) filed a lawsuit against Judicial Yuan President Weng Yueh-sheng (翁岳生) with the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office Black Gold Investigation Center, accusing him of embezzling funds from his discretionary allowance fund.

On the same day, a group of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers filed corruption charges with the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office against 26 incumbent and former heads of the five branches of government as well as incumbent and former vice presidents and premiers.

The legislators said that filing lawsuits against so many officials was solely aimed at underscoring the unreasonable nature of the design and implementation of the discretionary allowance funds.

Su said yesterday that the logical conclusion of pursuing a single case concerning the discretionary allowance fund is to investigate all 6,500 government officials and their staff members.

"At least more than 10,000 will be investigated or indicted in the end. Everybody is involved," Su said.

Regarding his own special allowance fund, Su said he trusts his staff members and believes that they have taken care of this issue carefully and legally.

"In addition to myself, I believe that all my fellow Cabinet members would be too busy to take care of small things like this. I believe that what they have done to handle the money was merely follow what has been done for the past few decades," he said.

Su said it would take time and effort to fix the problems inherent in the special allowance system.

He also urged the public not to scrutinize an already old system using today's standards. Old systems can be changed whenever necessary, he said.

"We do not need to argue over such a thing. It is just not worth it. We need to face the problems together and fix them," Su added. "If we can do this, we will make our country a better one tomorrow."

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