Former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) yesterday said he will announce next month whether he will join the Taipei mayoral election.
As the most competitive candidate for the pan-blue camp’s Taipei mayoral race, Lien said that personal safety is a major concern for his election bid.
He said that he and his family have received threatening letters over the past two years following an incident in 2010 in which he was shot in the cheek during campaign activities in New Taipei City (新北市).
“There are still issues to be considered… When you have had a bullet in your face, you have to consider personal safety,” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member Lien said.
The shooting made him shun politics until recently, and his family, especially his wife, is concerned about his safety should he decide to run in the Taipei mayoral election.
Lien’s father, former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), has said that he will respect his son’s decision, but expressed concerns that smear campaigns targeting him from within the pan-blue camp may emerge if he decides to seek the party’s nomination in the race.
Meanwhile, Sean Lien also defended the legality of his investment in Ting Hsin International Group Taiwan depositary receipts (TDRs), denying allegations of business relations with the troubled company.
He said he received an NT$18,000 refund from the handling fees because the Financial Supervisory Commission said it had overcharged him for handling the TDR issue and ordered it to refund investors.
The fee was not a kickback, he added.
“I don’t know what mistakes I made besides the fact that I might want to join the Taipei mayoral election,” Sean Lien said.
As to the KMT’s alleged calls for him to move out of his residence in The Palace (帝寶), a luxury apartment complex on Renai Road in Taipei, in a bid to avoid suffering at the ballot box because of his wealthy background, Sean Lien said the move could be seen as a “pretentious” act, but said he would handle the issue if he decides to run.
He shrugged off allegations about smear campaigns coming from within the KMT and said he has already faced vicious attacks in the past.
“If I became angry over these attacks and was constantly thinking about vengeance, I would not be able to serve the public,” he said.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the KMT have dismissed allegations that the party is not supportive of Sean Lien’s bid because of Ma’s problematic relationship with Lien Chan, saying that the party will give full support to all its candidates once they are determined by the primary mechanism.