The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday summoned Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co (TAPM) general manager Wu Yin-ning (吳音寧) for questioning over allegations that she used a stipend to buy high-end wine as gifts for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and to acquire surplus produce to give to residents of her hometown.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei city councilors last month raised questions about Wu using a “business promotion fund” in February to purchase 9.12 tonnes of unsold vegetables to donate to charitable groups that prepare meals for the underprivileged, of which 7 tonnes were sent to Changhua County’s Sijhou Township (溪洲), where her cousin is mayor.
One KMT city councilor earlier this month claimed that Wu used the fund to purchase 60 bottles of wine as a gift to the DPP and to subsidize local government activities, which Wu and the DPP have denied.
Photo: Yang Kuo-wen, Taipei Times
The Taipei Department of Government Ethics last week launched an investigation.
“I am the general manager hired by the board of directors. While I am in office, I do my job right every day,” Wu said as she arrived for questioning. “All procedures followed company rules and involved no illegal conduct.”
Following three hours of questioning, Wu said that she had clearly explained the situation and that she believed the truth would soon be known.
Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), a former general manager of the firm who is facing a lawsuit in another case related to the job, is to be summoned by prosecutors today as a witness in Wu’s case to explain the company’s procedures and legal usage of the fund.
KMT Taipei City Councilor William Hsu (徐弘庭) yesterday morning publicized a report by the ethics department that raised three points that he said might indicate Wu was not telling the truth.
Wu claimed to have asked the Taipei Market Administration Office and the Council of Agriculture to spread news about surplus vegetables, but the report showed that neither agency announced such news, he said, adding that it also found that Wu had not asked for a delivery receipt from a shipping company or the charities.
The report also found that Wu chose charities in Sijhou based on her personal experience and relationships, which was inappropriate, he added.
Asked about Wu being summoned and the department’s report, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that he has not read the report, because it is not in his purview, and that as the company is partly owned by the central government, it should be governed by its board of directors.
Asked about the points raised by Hsu, Ko said the investigation’s results, and how they are published, should be explained at a company board meeting.
DPP Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said that the scandals involving Wu have been used as tools for political gain, which should not be encouraged, adding that the public is more concerned about whether the company’s general manager can properly do their job, as well as the needs of Taipei residents.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan