Ex-KMT lawmaker indicted
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker Chung Shao-ho (鍾紹和) was indicted yesterday on charges of taking bribes from a trading company during his term in office, allegedly in exchange for helping the company seek government permission for oil-transfer operations off the southern port of Kaohsiung. According to an indictment issued by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office, Chung had written to the Environmental Protection Administration about the issue and had met with environmental, transportation and economics officials in his office to discuss related details. On April 15 last year, the trading company’s owner, surnamed Tung (董), allegedly paid NT$3 million (US$100,000) to Chung as a reward for his efforts, the indictment said, adding that Tung allegedly offered to pay Chung an additional NT$4 million on May 27 after Chung held a second meeting with officials. However, Chung declined to accept the payment because of a lack of progress on the matter, it said. Denying the bribery charges, Chung said the NT$3 million was intended to contribute to expenditures at his constituent-services office, while the NT$4 million was intended as a campaign donation for his re-election bid this year.
Cables link Taiwan, China
The first undersea telecommunications cables linking Taiwanese and Chinese territories have been completed, an official with Chunghwa Telecom said yesterday. The two fiber-optic cables link the city of Xiamen in southern China with the Kinmen island group, which lies just off the coast of China, the official said. The cables are due to go into operation on Tuesday next week, he added. The official, who asked not to be named, said the company had invested about NT$100 million (US$3.3 million) in the joint venture involving three Chinese telecoms operators. In 1958, the Chinese army fired more than 470,000 shells at Kinmen and several other islets in a 44-day bombardment, killing a total of 618 servicemen and civilians and wounding more than 2,600. China was still bombarding the island as late as the 1970s, although by then the shells were stuffed with propaganda leaflets. Kinmen now has become a popular attraction for tourists from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Athletes to get cash
Cash rewards distributed to the nation’s medal winners and other athletes who performed well at the recently concluded 2012 Olympic Games amount to more than NT$30 million (US$1 million), the Sports Affairs Council said yesterday. Cash awards totaling NT$32.7 million will be paid to 16 athletes. According to the Regulations Governing the Issuance of Guo Guang Athletic Medals and Scholarships (國光體育獎章及獎助學金頒發辦法), Hsu Shu-ching (許淑淨), the silver medalist in the women’s under-53kg weightlifting event, is eligible to receive a one-time reward of NT$7 million or a lifetime monthly pension of NT$38,000 for winning a silver medal for the country. Tseng Li-cheng (曾櫟騁), the bronze medal winner in the women’s under-57kg taekwondo category, is eligible to receive NT$5 million or a lifetime monthly pension of NT$24,000. Table tennis player Chuang Chih-yuan (莊智淵), who finished fourth in the men’s singles event — the best-ever finish by a male Taiwanese table tennis player at the Games — will be given NT$3 million. Athletes who finished fifth or sixth will receive NT$1.5 million, while those who came in seventh or eighth will get NT$0.9 million.