NSB asked to cut security guards for ex-president

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Kuomintang lawmakers blasted the National Security Bureau (NSB) yesterday for wasting money on providing personal security for former President Chen Shui-bian. Questioning NSB director-general Tsai Chao-ming, lawmakers on the Legislative Yuan Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee urged a reduction in the number of security guards for the ex-president. Tsai said Chen is entitled to eight to 12 security guards. The NSB is responsible for Chen’s personal security. Lawmaker Lin Yu-fang, the committee convener, said the number of guards for a former president has to be reduced to eight. “Eight is more than enough,” Lin said. He charged Tsai with “favoritism.” Tsai was appointed NSB director-general by Chen Shui-bian in 2001. He was dismissed in 2004 to take responsibility for a mystery-shrouded shooting on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.

Chen won that re-election thanks to sympathy votes cast on the day after the incident, in which he was slightly injured. “It’s simply a waste of money,” Lin chided Tsai. Somewhere between NT$112 million and NT$144 million were spent between June and September this year for providing security for Chen, who toured central and south Taiwan as if he was whistle-stopping for a presidential campaign.