Hung dismisses reports of NT$500m offer to quit

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 14, 2015 - Page 3

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday brushed off a rumor that she demanded NT$500 million (US$15.3 million) from party headquarters in exchange for withdrawing from the race.

When asked about the NT$500 million rumor, which Hung herself brought up at a KMT rally on Monday night, the deputy legislative speaker said: “[I brought it up] because there are people who keep spreading similar rumors about tradeoffs.”

Hung on Monday rebuked as a joke a rumor that she asked for NT$500 million in exchange for her withdrawal, calling it a serious offense and an insult to her integrity.

“Am I only worth NT$500 million? It is way too little,” Hung said

She asked KMT legislator-at-large Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍), who was also at the event, to put a price on her, and answered her own question by saying: “Priceless.”

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday laughed off the question, saying one should know “it is impossible,” adding that he had never heard of the rumor until reporters brought it up.

Local media outlets are now looking for the source of the rumor.

Hung’s campaign office said it was from a circle of legislators’ assistants, but could not specify a source.

It stressed that the revelation was not aimed at the party nor KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), but at the person who disseminated the rumor.

The Chinese-language United Evening News quoted an anonymous KMT official as saying that the party would not do such a thing and that party headquarters is “also puzzled how such a rumor spread.”

“It is understandable that there would be [negative] emotions [among party members], but it would be going overboard when you try to [ratchet up the pressure] with money issues,” the party official said.