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Tsai: Ma should clarify bookie meeting reports

Tsai: Ma should clarify bookie meeting reports

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Ma Ying-jeou should clarify reports that he met a prominent bookie several times during election campaigns, opposition presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen said Saturday.
Next Magazine last Wednesday published allegations that Ma met Chen Ying-chu at the home of Chiayi City Mayor Huang Ming-hui last September 10 to talk about financial and other campaign support.
Chen is reportedly involved in international online gambling and in betting on Taiwanese elections. He also has a criminal record, Next wrote.
Ma denied he had time on his schedule for any private meetings while in Chiayi that day, though he said he had met Chen on two previous occasions, in 2008 and 2009.
During a campaign stop in Taitung Saturday, Tsai said the president should give the public a clear explanation of what happened during the meetings and what he discussed with Chen. The public still had many doubts about Ma’s version of events, she said.
The KMT has demanded the opposition provide evidence of any wrongdoing, while also asking Next to apologize and clarify its reports within three days.
DPP spokesman Chuang Juei-hsiung said it was up to Ma to explain what he discussed with Chen in January 2008, during the run-up to the presidential election he eventually won, and in September 2009, shortly before the Chiayi mayoral election.
Next alleged that Chen contributed NT$100 million (US$3.3 million) to the KMT campaign.
The president said previous meetings with Chen also included other local personalities and did not touch on the topic of money. It was difficult to make background checks on all participants of such meetings beforehand, Ma said.
Huang, who allegedly arranged the September 10 meeting, said she would give NT$10 million (US$330,000) to anyone able to produce pictures of the meeting between Ma and Chen within two weeks, reports said.
The Next Magazine allegations could damage Ma’s image in the run-up to the January 14 presidential and legislative elections. Tsai recently drew level with him in several opinion polls.
Ma acquired an image of integrity and honesty while serving as Minister of Justice in the 1990s.


Updated : 2021-09-24 00:02 GMT+08:00