The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday released the bank records of DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in an effort to put to rest questions about a preferential savings account she once had.
The photocopy of Tsai’s Bank of Taiwan banking record should put to rest allegations that she continued to receive the government- subsidized 18 percent interest rate even after she criticized the program in January, DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.
“After three years of lackluster accomplishments, the government attempted to change the focus [to Tsai] in an election ploy,” Chen said. “But there is only one set of facts … and the evidence clearly shows who is right.”
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) on Monday said Tsai had continued to benefit from the bonus interest rate even though she said she had withdrawn from the program in the middle of January, although he did not provide any evidence.
A photocopy released by the DPP showed that Tsai had canceled the preferential savings account on Jan. 18, withdrawing the NT$4.1 million (US$142,000) deposit that was accruing the annual 18 percent rate.
The document, signed by Tsai on Jan. 18, was stamped by the bank. The account was opened on May 21, 2009, and was scheduled to come up for renewal on May 21 this year.
Regulations governing the preferential savings rate given to retired civil servants require beneficiaries open Bank of Taiwan accounts with an allocated deposit sum based on the number of years of service and their position. Tsai, a former vice premier, retired from public service in 2008.
She received about NT$57,000 a month on the account, minus taxes, the photocopy record showed.
The release of the bank record was something of an about-face for the DPP and Tsai, with officials privately saying on Monday that they did not wish to dignify the accusations with a response.
Asked about the decision to release the bank record, Chen said the DPP “decided in the end to clarify this once and for all.”
The party had previously told reporters to ask the Bank of Taiwan about Tsai’s account, but the bank refused to provide information on the grounds of privacy considerations.
To prevent more “groundless accusations,” Chen said that Tsai has retained lawyers to study a possible slander and libel suit against Chiu.
“He has already given the wrong information and should think carefully about what it is doing for his credibility. If he continues to slander, we will won’t refrain from suing,” Chen said.