Tue, Jul 03, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Opposition demands Ma apology, corruption probe

TIP OF THE ICEBERG?TSU Legislator Lin Shih-chia said the fact Lin allegedly asked for the bribe to be divided into installments meant that others could be implicated

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The pan-green camp yesterday called for a presidential apology, a Cabinet reshuffle and an investigation into corruption at the heart of government after former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) allegedly admitted his guilt in an ongoing corruption probe.

“We would like to know how many Lin Yi-shihs there are in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference.

“It was Ma who promoted Lin Yi-shih and allowed him engage in ‘power games.’ Little wonder that he frequently bragged about his high rank in the Ma political team,” Lin Chun-hsien said.

The investigation could still uncover more instances of corruption involving Lin Yi-shih or other officials, which was why Ma needed to apologize to the people and order a thorough investigation of officials at every level, Lin Chun-hsien added.

Ma’s attempts to distance himself from Lin Yi-shih were not enough and ironic given Ma’s “clean image,” DPP Legislator Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said, adding that the ultimate political responsibility was Ma’s and he should apologize.

Now that Lin Yi-shih has resigned and been detained, Cheng added, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) should reshuffle the Cabinet and order a complete investigation into all decisions made by Lin, as well as those of other Cabinet officials.

“It would be a matter of great concern if the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan failed to take action to maintain trust in the government,” she said.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said friends of Ti Yung Co owner Chen Chi-hsiang had provided him with copies of two recordings of conversations between Chen and Lin Yi-shih at Lin’s residence in Kaohsiung.

The lawmaker said he had received authorization from Chen’s friends to disclose the existence of the recordings, which were also available to the Special Investigation Division (SID) as evidence, if necessary.

Chao said he would refrain from making the recordings public now that the SID has begun an investigation.

The recordings were allegedly taped on Feb. 25 and March 10 at Lin Yi-shih’s residence, where Chen, a female friend and Lin met to discuss his facilitation of a work contract and “commission.”

According to Chao, Chen’s female friend mentions the number 63 in the recording, which referred to the NT$63 million “commission” Chen paid for a contract two years ago and she asks Lin Yi-shih for the contract to be renewed.

Lin Yi-shih mentions the number “83” — NT$83 million — as “commission.”

On March 10, Lin asked Chen to pay the commission in three blocks of NT$30 million, NT$30 million and NT$23 million, Chao said, adding that Lin’s wife, Peng Ai-chia (彭愛佳), a TV anchorwoman, was also heard talking to Chen and his female friend.

However, Chao added that he was unsure whether Peng knew anything about the bribery.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said that she suspected China Steel Corp and its affiliates were engaged in “systemic corruption” and there were probably many more cases.

Lin Yi-shih’s insistence that the “commission” be paid in US dollars and split in three installments was also suspicious, the lawmaker said, adding that some of the kickbacks might have gone to other, as yet unidentified, politicians.

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