Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) yesterday accused former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) of abusing the state’s security resources by asking for a nine-strong security detail from the National Police Administration (NPA) after his four-year period of retirement benefits expired.
Under the 2007 amendments to the Act of Courtesy for Former Presidents and Vice Presidents (卸任總統副總統禮遇條例), Lien is entitled to four to eight guards for four years, but he continued to request a security detail after his benefits period ended in 2010, Chen said.
Lien requested — based on the “Regulations for Dispatching Security Guards for Central Government Chiefs and Special Individuals” (中央政府機關首長及特定人士安全警衛派檢作業規定) — a total of nine security guards, one more than allowed for retired vice presidents, on the grounds that his family has constantly received “blackmail letters and telephone calls” and because the 2010 “case where [his son] Sean Lien (連勝文) was shot has not been solved,” the lawmaker said.
However, Chen said that of the six cases the Liens reported to the police since 2011 basically involved tirades and blackmail letters, none of which were found to be substantial threats, which the regulations specify that they would have to be to justify extending protection, while the Sean Lien shooting case was closed in 2013.
The Lien family should not be using public resources as personal bodyguards, Chen said.
“With Lien Chan’s wealth, which has been estimated at about NT$30.5 billion [US$928.3 million] and a monthly pension of NT$375,000, it would not be a problem for him to hire his own bodyguards,” Chen said, adding that a nine-member security detail costs the government about NT$7.83 million a year.
Chen said the NPA should review its measures on security for retired presidents and vice presidents, saying some have been given more courtesy than they are due.
Her criticism came a few days after the Taiwan Solidarity Union caucus’ revealed that Lien Chan had asked his security detail to accompany him on his trip to Beijing last week.
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