Sun, Sep 07, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ma promises to stamp out corruption

TAKING ACTIONMa said his decision to declassify documents relating to the use of the presidential ‘state affairs fund’ was an example of the government’s determination

By Mo Yan-Chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday the government would spare no effort in stamping out corruption.

“We will clamp down on all instances of corruption, regardless of when they happened,” Ma said yesterday during a visit to Tainan City.

Referring to money-laundering allegations against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his family, Ma said “the government will not fail to look into this case. We will not give up until the truth is revealed.”

Ma said that his decision to declassify documents relating to the use of the presidential “state affairs fund” — which gave prosecutors access to the documents for the probe into Chen’s alleged misuse of the fund — was an example of the government’s determination to investigate the allegations of corruption against the former first family.

The government, Ma said, will also step up efforts to prevent corruption.

He cited a proposed amendment to the Statute for the Punishment of Corruption (貪污治罪條例) as an example, saying it would require officials to give a clear account of the sources of their wealth.

Ma promised to strengthen cooperation with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus when the next legislative session opens this month and seek its help to pass government policies.

“The government and the party will each play their role and be cooperative. The party will assist the government in carrying out policies,” he said.

Later, while addressing an event held by the ROC Law Society in Tainan, Ma, a Harvard law graduate, commented on the so-called “lawyer personality” and said he had long thought about why many criminals are law graduates.

“Law graduates should be honest and should never engage in embezzlement or corruption and should not cheat. We who know the law should not break the law,” he said.

Ma’s remarks were apparently directed at Chen, who studied law at National Taiwan University and practiced law for some years before entering the political scene.

In related developments, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that it would question Chen next week as part of its investigation into the money-laundering allegations.

Chen and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), withdrew from the party on Aug. 15 to apologize for mismanaging Chen’s campaign funds, but he said at the time he was willing to accept an investigation by the party’s integrity committee.

Results of the investigation would be released early next month, said Chang Tien-chin (張天欽), director of the DPP’s integrity committee.

DPP legislative whip Chang Hwa-kuan (張花冠) said that although Chen and Wu had withdrawn from the party, the party intended to show its determination to look into the matter and promote clean politics.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG

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