Thu, Nov 30, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Foundation says it is not Ma's toy

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

One of two public welfare foundations established by Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday denied accusations that it was "private property" of the mayor.

The Dwen An Social Welfare Foundation was established by Ma with the New Taiwanese Cultural Foundation using more than NT$47 million (US$1.4 million) in mayoral election subsidies.

"The foundation has dedicated itself to providing welfare services over the past few years, but its aim was misunderstood for political reasons ... Ma never interfered with the foundation's matters, even after making donations to found the organization," Steven Chen (陳士魁), director of the foundation, said yesterday at the foundation, whose mandate is to provide counseling to teenagers.

Putting records of donations made by Ma and his wife Chou Mei-chin (周美青) on the table, Chen said Ma had donated NT$13 million to set up the foundation, and donated an additional NT$10.3 million in 2003 and 2004.

Chou, who serves as a member of the board of directors, has donated a total of NT$2.6 million since 2000, Chen said, denying Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators' accusations that Ma had pocketed the subsidies by making donations to his own foundation through his wife.

"None of the members of the board of directors got paid. Instead, their main duty is to make donations to the foundation so that we can survive," he said.

In addition to Chou, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) and hotelier Stanley Yen (嚴長壽) are also members, while Barry Lam (林百里), chairman of Quanta Display and Quanta Computer, serves as the chairman.

In response to DPP Taipei City Councilor Lee Wen-ying's (李文英) accusation that the Taipei City Social Welfare Department favored the foundation by granting it about NT$10,000 to NT$20,000 in subsidies this year, Chen said the foundation applied for welfare group subsidy through the proper channels, and that it was not the only group that had received subsidies from the department.

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