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.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
SUFFICIENT SUPPLY: Taiwan has an abundance of pandemic-related goods in storage, and protocols have been implemented to ensure that the supply chain is not broken Hordes of customers descended on hypermarkets and supermarkets in Taipei and New Taipei City after the government yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert level for the two municipalities to level 3 until May 28. Earlier in the day, the Central Epidemic Command Center reported 180 new domestically transmitted cases, most of them in Taipei and New Taipei City. Despite the government urging the public to stop hoarding daily necessities, shelves were stripped bare while cashiers were working as fast as they could. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a news conference on Friday detailed the government’s inventory of masks, medical-grade isopropyl alcohol and protective clothing,
‘STAY CALM’: The nation has more than 800 million masks in stock and can produce up to 40 million a day, while hand sanitizer stocks are also sufficient The nation has an ample supply of masks to meet demand amid concerns over an increase in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. Taiwan has more than 800 million masks in stock, with daily production of 18.3 million units on average and maximum daily capacity of 40 million units, the ministry said on Facebook. The ministry’s assurance came after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said that the nation has entered the community transmission stage after several new domestic
EYES AND EARS: The navy has commissioned the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to manufacture radars to upgrade the nation’s naval monitoring stations A military enthusiast yesterday posted photographs of Taiwanese F-16 jets taking off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu with two refueling aircraft, presumably returning to Taiwan from the US for upgrades. Asked about the matter, the Ministry of National Defense declined to comment. The jets had been part of training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and had briefly landed in Honolulu, where the photographer, Aeros808, had spotted them, a source said. The jets did not land in Guam, which had been done in 1996 when the US Air Force delivered F-16s to Taiwan, the source said, adding that the