Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday accused Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of embezzling the special allowance that the city government distributes to the mayor.
Alleging that Ma's bank balance increased substantially last year, DPP lawmakers said Ma was suspected of funneling the special allowance fund into his personal account.
Showing the records of the Property Declaration by Public Servants, DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni (
PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES
It was strange that Ma's bank balance could increase by around NT$4.1 million (US$124,923) in such a short space of time, Hsieh said.
"We have reason to believe that Ma diverted the city government's special allowance fund to pay for his personal living expenses because it is unlikely that Ma and his wife could have saved so much money in just one year, considering their salaries," Hsieh said at the press conference, held with DPP legislators Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲), Wang Shi-cheng (王世堅), Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶) and Kao Chien-chih (高建智).
Hsieh said that Ma and his wife earned about NT$6.45 million per year but if living expenses of about NT$4.4 million were deducted the maximum savings Ma's family could have accumulated would be about NT$2 million.
"But Ma's savings doubled last year and we suspect that Ma obtained the extra money from the special fund," Hsieh said.
Ma received a special allowance of NT$340,000 per month, said Lin, who suspected that Ma siphoned off half of it so he could double his savings last year.
In response, Ma yesterday said most of his special allowance was used in public welfare service.
"I've always separated special allowance fund expenditures from my personal expenses," Ma said at Taipei City Hall.
Ma said that regulations for the special allowances allotted to the country's top government officials were the same as those that he was subject to and required officials to provide receipts for only half of the expenditures.
Ma added he had already made public his expenditures in May and welcomed the Ministry of Audit to look into his accounts.
Ma provided copies of his bank account records and explained his financial situation to the press in May after being accused by DPP Taipei City councilors of steering funds to two private foundations that he set up.
HIGH STAKES: An attack on Taiwan could prompt a joint response from the US and Japan, and trigger a global conflict that could bring down the CCP, Liu Tai-ying said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would not be able to launch an invasion of Taiwan for at least another 10 years, Taiwan Research Institute founder Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) said on Friday. To occupy Taiwan, China needs to transport at least 300,000 to 400,000 troops across the Taiwan Strait during battle, but it would lack the ability to do so for at least another decade, said Liu, a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) treasurer and a close aide to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). The challenges that China would face during an attempted invasion of Taiwan would be even greater than those
Taiwan from Thursday is to reinstate visa exemptions for passport holders from 65 countries. Mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers is to be lifted on Oct. 13 , when restrictions on inbound and outbound tour groups are also to be lifted. The following is a list of answers to common questions regarding how the new regulations are to affect inbound international visitors Which passports will have visa-free entry privileges? Eleven more countries on Thursday are to join 54 countries that were given visa-free privileges on Sept. 12. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Chile, Israel and Nicaragua can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days without a visa. Taiwan is also to resume 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Malaysia. Passport holders from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines are to be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days visa-free. Taiwan on Sept. 12 resumed 90-day visa-free entry for passport holders from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New
HAWAII MODEL: While Hawaii held a referendum on becoming the 50th US state, Taiwan has never applied to join the People’s Republic of China, Miles Yu said China comparing Taiwanese independence to Hawaii seeking independence from the US is illogical, as Taiwan has never applied to be a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hudson Institute senior fellow Miles Yu (余茂春) said over the weekend. Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅), who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, has given multiple talks asserting Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. In a speech to the Asia Society on Thursday, Wang likened Taiwan to Hawaii. “Just as the US would not allow Hawaii to break away,” Beijing “reserves the right” to seek unification, Wang told the gathering. The
Taiwanese on average first use pornographic material at the age of 14, an international survey found on Wednesday. Researchers at National Cheng Kung University, who conducted the survey in the nation, said 50.2 percent of Taiwanese respondents said they used pornographic material two to three times per month over the past year. Lin Chung-ying (林宗瑩), an associate professor at the university’s Institute of Allied Health Sciences, said the results indicate that Taiwanese are less sexually active than people in other countries, especially in the West. Taiwanese on average masturbate 10 percent less often than respondents from other nations in the survey, Lin said. The