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Public urged to join 'sunshine' rally

The Taiwan public was urged yesterday to take part in a mass rally being organized by the pro-independence Taiwan Society and other activists groups slated for August 30, Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), an executive director of Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday.
Hsu called for the public to join the rally, saying that the march - aimed at championing the people's power to oversee the government - is not a pro-Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) nor anti-Chen rally.
Former President Chen Shui-bian, his wife Wu Shu-jen and Wu's elder brother Wu Ching-mao were listed earlier this week as suspects in an alleged overseas money laundering case and have been barred from leaving the country.
The Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office decided Thursday to summon Chen's son Chen Chih-chung and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching - who have already left the country - for questioning as suspects within days.
At issue is a report from the Egmont Group - an international anti-money laundering organization - that the Investigation Bureau's Money Laundering Prevention Center received in January, which details the status of bank accounts created by Chen's family members in other countries, including the United States, the Cayman Islands, Singapore and Switzerland.
Responding to the latest development, members of several social activist groups in Taiwan called yesterday for early passage of more "Sunshine bills" to combat corruption by public functionaries.
Participants at a colloquium sponsored by Taiwan Thinktank said unanimously that corruption by senior officials and public functionaries could be rooted out only by changing the governing systems, such as enactment of more "Sunshine bills" that will oblige senior officials and civil servants to account for their private assets.
At the colloquium, Hung Yu-hung, convener of the Constitution Reform Alliance, called for the Legislative Yuan in its next legislative session to enact a law that would make it a crime for government officials to hold unexplained wealth.
"Under current circumstances, there will be no solid evidence to adequately prove that the huge amount of money that Chen's wife wired overseas were the gains of corruption committed by Chen during his tenures as president and Taipei mayor," Hung said.
Hung suggested the Legislative Yuan enact a law that would make it a crime for government officials to hold unexplained wealth and that the law should be retrospective - allowing all senior officials, sitting or retired, to be scrutinized in terms of possession of private assets.
"If that law is put into force, Chen would unavoidably be found guilty, and many figures from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and the ruling Kuomintang could be indicted, " Hung speculated.
"Half of the politicians in the country would be downed by the law - consequently ushering in a new clean and competent government," he claimed.


Updated : 2020-12-02 11:35 GMT+08:00