Chen Hsing-yu curses media
Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) daughter angrily denounced the media yesterday. “Why are you following me all day? My dad is no longer the president.” Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) said angrily. “What have I done wrong? I’m just a doctor. Are you going to follow me like this until I drop dead?” She made the remarks when reporters approached her outside her dental clinic in Taipei City’s Neihu District (內湖) to ask for comment on a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language Apple Daily. The report said that Chen Hsing-yu had three traffic violations in two days and could face fines of up to NT$11,700. Two accompanying pictures showed her driving through red lights. Chen Hsing-yu yesterday said she drove through the red lights in an attempt to escape paparazzi, but then realized she had fallen into their trap. She also complained that people called her clinic pretending to be patients and filmed her using hidden cameras.
Prosecutors summon Chen
Prosecutors said yesterday that they would summon former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) as a witness in their investigation into Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp’s (SSAC) embezzlement case. Prosecutors have prohibited former SSAC chairman Kuo Ching-chiang (郭清江) from leaving the country. Prosecutors said that since Kuo was appointed by Chen and certain documents indicated Chen might have been involved in policymaking, prosecutors decided to interview him as a witness. Since its establishment in 1996, Taiwan has invested about US$600 million in SSAC, but the company only won regulatory approval to build business aircraft in late 2005. So far it has only delivered one plane. Prosecutors are trying to determine if irregularities in management could have led to the substantial deficit it now faces.
Court annuls election win
Miaoli District Court yesterday annulled Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Lee Yi-ting’s (李乙廷) legislative election win. The district court said Lee could appeal the ruling to the Taiwan High Court, whose ruling would be final. Lee was indicted by Miaoli prosecutors in late January on charges of vote-buying during the Jan. 12 legislative elections. Prosecutors asked the Miaoli District Court to sentence Lee to two years in jail and impose a fine of NT$2 million (US$62,000). The case is still pending in the district court. Prosecutors also filed a civil lawsuit with the district court, and that ruling was handed down yesterday afternoon. Prosecutors suspect Lee and two campaign workers made 16 donations to several temples in the Miaoli area to secure the votes of the temples’ managers and devotees.
Extra budget on the way
The Cabinet is today set to approve an extra budget of NT$120 billion (US$3.9 billion) to fund government policies. Around NT$114 billion will help local governments complete infrastructure projects, while about NT$12 billion will compensate public transport and taxi drivers for increased fuel costs. The budget proposal was made after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) promised in the presidential campaign to revise the budget. The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics presented the proposal to the Cabinet; it will now be sent to the legislature for review. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) local government heads have attacked the Cabinet’s decision to allocate NT$58.3 billion to each city and county according to population size, but the Cabinet said the test was impartial and would address local government needs.