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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

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Ripples in a Slush Pond

Taiwan News reports on the demolition of the island's politics by the slush fund scandal:

With Ma coming under a barrage of attacks from DPP figures, the KMT retaliated yesterday, challenging DPP heads of central and local government agencies over their use of the special allowance.

KMT Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh filed a formal complaint yesterday with the Tainan District Prosecutors' Office against Tainan City Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財). Hsieh alleged that Hsu embezzled his mayoral special allowance, enabling his wealth to increase by NT$26.34 million from December 1999 to March 2006. Hsu later denied the allegations.

Moreover, Hsieh and KMT lawmaker Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) charged that when DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling - one of those leading the charge against Ma - headed the information office and cultural affairs department of the Kaohsiung City Government, she remitted NT$1.8 million from her special allowance to her personal account and spent the money on personal items.

They also accused her of abusing an NT$100 million subsidy allocated for the cultural affairs department.

Another KMT Tainan City councilor, Lin Kuo-cheng, alleged that Kuan's husband, Hsu Yang-ming, also remitted his special allowance of NT$264,000 per year to his personal account when he served as Tainan deputy mayor and even occupied a room of a labor center owned by the Tainan City Government without paying rent for four years.

Hopefully it will occur to someone that the slush fund system needs to be abolished. It's as if both sides had been following MAD for the past six years, and now, since one side launched its missiles, the other side has to as well. Welcome to nuclear winter -- it's going to get hot before it gets cold.

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