KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent: – The one-year-old Ma Ying-Jeou administration in Taipei is emphasising transparency, legality and efficiency.
In keeping with this trend, Taiwan ambassador to Kingstown, Leo Lee used a transparent file to house two cheques presented to the government of this country on Tuesday.
Before handing over the cheques for US$371, 996. 13 each, Lee spoke of the new administration’s focus on transparency, legality and efficiency.
“…That is why we use this transparent file to house these cheques,” he said to laughter.
The funds were for the funding of the Youth Empowerment Service and the construction of a learning resource centre in West Kingstown.
Acting Prime Minister Mike Browne accepted the cheques and signed on behalf of his government.
Taiwan and China, political nemeses, have often accused each other of using dollar diplomacy to sway each other’s allies.
In April, President Ma vowed to arrest corruption in Taipei on the heels of survey by Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, which ranked Taiwan higher than China in terms perceived corruption.
“I am distressed that Taiwan is considered more corrupt than China according to the survey,” Ma said. “It is unacceptable that the democratic achievements we are proud of are stained by corruption.”
Ma said the corruption cases took place under the rule of the former Democratic Progressive Party.
He further said that it was his administration’s “unavoidable responsibility” to eradicate corruption in the new government.
In March, the corruption trial of former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian began in Taipei.
Prosecutors said that Chen who was president from 2000 to 2008 stole or took bribes totalling more than $30 million, sometimes in return for political favours involving land deals.
Chen had campaigned promising to end political corruption.
He admitted in August that his wife had wired $21 million in campaign funds to accounts in Singapore, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.
His wife, Wu Shu-chen; his son; and his daughter-in-law pleaded guilty in February to money laundering. Wu also pleaded guilty to forgery.
However, Chen has said that he is innocent, that Wu handled campaign money and that he was ignorant of the dealings.
He said the charges were a plot by President Ma to win favor with China’s government.