Disgraced Taiwan politico sparks lottery frenzy
Lin Yi-Shih, Taiwan's former Executive Yuan Secretary-General, has finally admitted to accepting millions in bribes from scrap metal tycoon Chen Chi-Hsiang.
Lin had earlier refuted the claim and filed a lawsuit against Chen, who accused him of taking the money, and against Next magazine for publishing the story. He resigned from his political post when the truth came out.
Investigators received a recording of a phone call between Lin and Chen, who owns the metal recycling company Ti Yung, in which Lin asked Chen for another NT$83m (RM8.8m) after already pocketing NT$63mil (RM6.6m) for helping Chen secure a two-year contract to obtain slag material from China Steel Corp and its subsidiaries.
When Chen refused to pay up, Lin forced China Steel to stop sending the materials to Ti Yung. With Ti Yung on the verge of disaster, Chen sang like a bird to detectives to save his own skin.
One conspiracy theorist suggested that Lin's NT$83m demand came from his wife TV anchor Peng Ai-Chia's birth date of 30th August and her car plate number 8300. Those digits, along with Lin's detention number 2559, have become the most popular lottery numbers in Taiwan.
Lin was a four-term legislative member until he lost the January election. He was then appointed as Secretary-General and considered one of the promising stars in the ruling Kuomintang party. He was vice-chairman of the party, director of KMT Youth League, and a potential candidate for the Greater Kaohsiung mayoral election.
Investigations revealed that after Lin became a legislative member in 1999, there were substantial increases in his and his wife's bank accounts. By the end of his term, the couple had amassed NT$47.42m in cash—along with land, properties and assets estimated at NT$10m—a far cry from their original declaration of just under NT$1m in savings.
In a statement, Taiwan's President Ma Ying-Jeou said he was sorry about Lin's part in the scandal. "I feel very apologetic for Lin being implicated in a judicial case," said Ma. "It is extremely regrettable that a member of my administration has been involved in such a thing."
President Ma, who pledged to beat corruption after his predecessor Chen Shui-Bian was implicated in several graft cases, said that any government official who violates the people's trust would be dealt with according to the law.
"There's neither a grey area nor room for anyone to dodge this rule," he said, adding that his administration would continue to be resolute in fighting against and preventing corruption within the government. "We will continue our quest for clean politics and an incorruptible civil service."
Lin, 44, issued a statement in which he was sorry for his behaviour, saying he deeply regretted his dereliction of duty. "I would like to apologise to my family members and my supervisors and the public," he said, adding that he would return his ill-gotten gains to the nation and devote himself to community services.
But this wouldn't be the first time Lin has lied to the public. In 2003, he denied having an affair with Peng even though they were photographed together. At the time he still with his girlfriend of 15 years and she was his assistant. Lin and Peng eventually married two-and-a-half-years later.
Source: Taipei Times
Published: 20th July 2012