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Transport chief denies birthday bash bribe

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) yesterday denied Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan's (蔡正元) accusation that he accepted a luxury birthday party held by Senao International Chairman Paul Lin (林保雍).

According to Tsai, Yeh demanded that Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) purchase Senao's stock within 15 days last year, but Chunghwa Telecom failed to follow through.

Tsai said that Yeh therefore asked Chunghwa Telecom Chairman Lee Yen-sung (李炎松) to retire from his position last December and Lin held a luxury dinner party for Yeh to celebrate his birthday in January.

Tsai said that this form of interaction between an enterprise owner and officials is "astonishing."

"There is a cooperative relationship between Senao and Chunghwa Telecom, so Yeh should handle this issue more appropriately in order to avoid any potential misunderstandings by the public," said Tsai.

According to Tsai, Senao is in charge of Chunghwa Telecom's cellphone sales.

In response to Tsai's accusation, Yeh said that he did talk to Senao and Chunghwa Telecom after the two companies had a conflict regarding Chunghwa Telecom's wish to sell mobile phones without the involvement of a third party like Senao.

According to Yeh, Lin thought that Chunghwa Telecom did not respect Senao's exclusive right to sell mobile phones for the firm, so he stepped in to solve the conflict between the two companies and suggest possible solutions.

"I suggested that Chunghwa Telecom raise Senao's stock share percentage," said Yeh. "But I did not demand Chunghwa Telecom to purchase Senao's stocks at higher prices."

Regarding the birthday party that Tsai referred to, Yeh said that he was invited by a KMT member to go mountain-climbing that day, and they went to Lin's farmhouse nearby afterward.

"I did not know that they planned to celebrate my birthday there until I arrived," said Yeh. "I am not the type of person who likes to celebrate birthdays, so I usually do not hold any birthday parties."

According to Yeh, there have been some disputes after Rick Tsai (蔡力行) took over as the chairman of Chunghwa Telecom, so this accusation might have something to do with disgruntled employees miffed by the personnel reshuffle.

1 Comment
January 16, 2014    j79183@
According to the statement of Yeh, he didn't know there was a party over there. It is convincible but government employees should have been conscious of the risk in such commerce- related occasion.
Although Tsai's accusation led to some disturbance, the best part in Yeh's action dealing with it is that he came up in front of the public and clarified the issue in a detailed way. That is what the reasonable attitudes toward the crisis when officials met some day.
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