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Thursday, November 16, 2006

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Ma's Office Director Resigns

The idiotic slush fund policy continues, like some mad Godzilla, to wreak havoc with people's careers. Yesterday's victim was the Director of the Office of Taipei Mayor Ma. The relevant passage:

Yu Wen (余文), a Taipei City staffer who handled reimbursements for the allowance, was found by the city government last month to have substituted receipts for smaller amounts with personal receipts for larger amounts in a bid to reduce his paperwork.

In an attempt to simplify the reimbursement procedure for amounts ranging between NT$10,000 and NT$20,000 -- usually between 50 and 100 receipts each month -- Yu substituted his own receipts for larger amounts for several of the smaller ones, Taipei City Government Secretariat Director Lee Shu-te (李述德) said.

This was not discovered until prosecutors began investigating Ma's use of the special fund, and as a result 3,754 receipts, totaling around NT$800,000, had been "exchanged" in this way since 2003, Lee added.
But the original receipts exist, so there was no embezzlement. Hey, no kidding. As I noted in my long discussion over at tVfT, who hasn't submitted a false receipt in a good cause? Yesterday the BBC was reporting that the KMT is planning to raise more problems with the slush funds, which are going to be an inexhaustible source of political trouble -- we're looking at mutual assured destruction.

Not that the Blues care, of course. As always, one Blue goal is to ensure that Taiwan is governed as badly as possible.

UPDATE: The China Post agrees:

All high public office holders, regardless of their political party affiliation, are afraid they may be the next targets of Taiwan's reborn McCarthyists.

Taiwan will wind up in political chaos, if parties do not put an end to their muck-raking against each other in time, observers believe.

"When nobody feels safe from reckless charges of corruption," a political analyst said, "how can the government operate normally?"

But observers are pessimistic about Taiwan's political future.

With legislative elections scheduled for the end of next year and the presidential race for the spring of 2008, the frenzy whipped up by the anti-corruption McCarthyism cannot be wished away.
The article also claims that Ma's personal account has grown by $300,000 a month since 1998.

Ma is charged with remitting the half that needs no proof to his personal account, which grew by an average of NT$300,000 a month since he assumed office as mayor of Taipei in 1998.



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