Wed, Dec 22, 2010 - Page 2 News List

KMT legislator apologizes to DPP for suggesting that it had accepted bribes

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers have accepted an apology from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) for suggesting that members of the opposition party had accepted bribes.

Sitting alongside DPP caucus chief Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday, Lin agreed he failed to check the facts before his outburst in front of television cameras accusing the DPP of having taken payments of NT$10,000 to help the victims of a tunnel collapse.

The accusation was apparently the result of a misunderstanding, Lin said. The family of one of the victims told him that they had already spent NT$10,000 to come to Taipei and ask lawmakers to help publicize their request for national compensation, he said.

“I didn’t check this over clearly and thought that the NT$10,000 had been taken by DPP lawmakers. This is why I misspoke and gave the wrong message,” Lin said as part of his apology.

Lin’s conciliatory tone was markedly different from the remarks that he made in May.

Speaking about the 2008 collapse of Nantou County’s Fengchiu Tunnel (豐丘明隧道), Lin told reporters that DPP lawmakers accepted NT$10,000 from households in the area to help plead their case.

“As for the NT$10,000 they accepted, I’m not clear on what they did with it,” he said at the time.

Accepting a letter of apology, Ker said he hoped politicians could “watch what they say more carefully” in the future.

Suggesting that statements should be backed up by evidence, he said that failure to do so, “only serves to lower their [politicians’] credibility.”

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