Wed, Jan 17, 2007 - Page 3 News List

GIO minister rebuts KMT lawmaker's spying claim

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Government Information Office Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) yesterday rebutted Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Teh-fu's (林德福) claim that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) purchased state-of-the-art surveillance equipment for his office, car and residence to ensure he would not be spied on by other politicians or parts of the government.

"This is absurd," Cheng said. "I sincerely urge everybody not to politicize everything."

Cheng made his comments when he was approached yesterday morning about Lin's remarks on Monday. Lin said he had proof that Su had purchased the equipment to protect himself from being monitored, since Su is considered a possible candidate for next year's presidential election.

Cheng said that the Cabinet had filed a budget proposal for the equipment to the legislature and that it was approved in 2005, before Su took office.

He said the equipment was necessary to supplement the work of security agents, as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) has a manpower shortage. However, the Cabinet has only recently purchased the equipment.

The spokesman said that the NT$1.24 million (US$37,575) budget for the surveillance equipment was evaluated and suggested by the BOI in 2004 and filed and approved in 2005.

Cheng said that politicians were letting their imaginations run wild and said that these kind of security measures were to be expected.

"The equipment budget was actually proposed by the BOI, not by us. In addition, this proposal was approved by the legislature. Now a lawmaker is complaining about it. Is that logical?" Cheng said.

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