The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed an allegation made by an opposition legislator that President Chen Shui-bian (
"The allegation is false because the president has never offered any names to Prosecutor Eric Chen (
David Lee said President Chen only provided receipts to Eric Chen. Since prosecutors are still investigating the case, Lee said that they had no further comment on the matter.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) told the legislature's Organic Laws and Statutes Committee yesterday morning that a reliable source told him that the president had wired NT$20 million (US$625,000) to China-based businessman Kung Chin-yuan (龔金源).
The legislator claimed that the money came from President Chen's special allowance fund and was actually used to invest in real estate in China.
Lee Ching-hua said President Chen had showed a receipt for the amount to Eric Chen and that he would be happy to meet with Eric Chen to discuss the matter.
Lee Ching-Hua said he had double-checked his sources and was willing to put his political career on the line.
"If what I say is wrong, I'll resign as a legislator," he said. "But if President Chen continues to lie about the fund, he should resign as the president."
President Chen has claimed that part of the fund was used to pay secret agents or informants involved in a diplomatic mission code named "The South Route Project" (
Lee Ching-hua yesterday criticized President Chen for lying about the use of the fund and said he suspected that President Chen had a close relationship with Kung and had used him to embezzle money from the fund.
Lee Ching-hua said Kung was appointed by President Chen when he was Taipei mayor as the city's representative in its sister city, Dallas.
After Chen was elected president in 2000, Kung was assigned by the Ministry of Finance as a representative of state shareholders at Taiwan Business Bank in July 2000, Lee Ching-hua claimed, adding that after Kung's mother passed away, President Chen had attended her funeral in June 2004.
In December last year, Kung was appointed by the ministry as a representative of public shareholders at First Financial Holding Company, Lee Ching-hua said.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
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A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of