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Ma Ying-jeou apologises over aide's graft scandal

Publication Date : 30-03-2013

 

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday apologised to the nation over Taipei Councilor Lai Su-ru's implication in the most recent Taipei Twin Towers graft scandal.

The councilor was taken in for questioning on Wednesday, during which she admitted to having received NT$1 million (US$ 32,615.80) from members of the Taipei Gateway International Development Co., the former forerunner bidder of the Twin Towers project. Lai, however, denied having committed any crime and said that the money had been returned after the firm's bid fell through.

The president, who doubles as the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) chairman, said that he was both shocked and pained when he heard the news.

“As chairman of the Kuomintang, I apologise to all party members and the nation,” Ma said.

He called on prosecutors to be absolutely impartial and to get to the bottom of the case. Ma further urged Lai to face justice and give investigators her full cooperation.

The councilor resigned from all of her party positions, including Central Standing Committee member and director of the chairman's office. Her resignation was accepted by Ma, who said that her implication in the case has severely tarnished the KMT's image, which, as head of the party, he was obligated to apologise for.

Vice KMT Chairwoman Huang Min-hui said that she was taken aback by the news as well, and said that all party members must face such problems head on without excuse.

Corruption is a problem that members of all parties need to help stamp out, in order for Taiwan to be set on the right course, Huang added.

*US$1=NT$30.6

 

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