Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who stepped down on May 20, yesterday dismissed an online rumor that he has decided to give up his retirement benefits.
“No,” Ma said in response to questions about the rumor while attending his first public event as former president at a celebration marking the 120th anniversary of Jhongshan Elementary School in Yilan.
Ma’s denial came one day after his office had said the rumor was not true, adding that the ex-president always abides by the law and respects the statute governing preferential treatment for retired presidents.
According to the Act of Courtesy for Former Presidents and Vice Presidents (卸任總統副總統禮遇條例), Ma is entitled to a pension of NT$250,000 (US$7,685) per month, as well as funding for a security detail of between eight and 12 agents.
Ma is also to receive up to NT$8 million to cover the day-to-day operational expenses of his office for the first year after his return to private life.
That amount is to be reduced to NT$7 million for the second year, NT$6 million for the third year and NT$5 million for the fourth year and thereafter, according to the legislation.
It was rumored that Ma said that as an ordinary citizen, he does not need the preferential treatment.
New Taipei City Councilor Chen Ming-yi (陳明義) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Friday said on Facebook that people recently made a deliberately false statement that Ma was to give up all preferential treatment to which he is entitled.
Chen was critical of those who started the rumor and called on the public to stop spreading falsehoods.
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