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Kaohsiung denies KMT mayoral candidate's extortion claim
Central News Agency
2014-05-20 10:28 PM
Taipei, May 20 (CNA) The Kaohsiung city government has sent a legal letter of attest addressed to ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Yang Chiu-hsing, demanding clarification and an explanation for a statement he made in a book that the city government has pressured enterprises to donate money. In a book authored by Yang and published in April, Yang said that the city government has pressured enterprises to donate money for such projects as holding large-scale activities and building city libraries. Yang's campaign office said Yang received the letter from a cultural foundation under the city government that is chaired by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu. The letter demands that Yang give a public explanation of his claims, otherwise the foundation will take legal action. The office said that since Chen took office seven years ago, she has consistently launched fund-raising drives for several events, including the World Games 2009 in Kaohsiung, the 2013 Asia-Pacific Cities Summit, the World DanceSport Games 2013 Kaohsiung, the 2014 Kaohsiung Lantern Festival and even the staging of the giant yellow rubber duck installation. Over the past seven years, the city government has raised billions of dollars through donations. The office said that prosecutors and investigators should look into whether the foundation was in violation of the Charity Fundraising Act by printing posters and leaflets to solicit donations from public institutions and civic organizations under the name of the mayor. In the book, Yang said the city government fined Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE), the world's biggest chip packager, NT$600,000 (US$20,000) for leaking toxic wastewater from its biggest plant in Kaohsiung and ordered the factory to suspend operations for contravening the Water Pollution Control Act. Yang implied that the Kaohsiung city government's move was tantamount to extorting donations from enterprieses because, he said, companies could try to avoid being fined by the local government for breaking environmental laws by making donations. According to Yang, this could affect companies' willingness to invest in the city. (By Wang Shwu-fen and Evelyn Kao)
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