Critics say KMT chief's act is a reflection of guilt Ma Ying-jeou, the chairman of Taiwan's main opposition party and Taipei mayor, has pledged to donate NT$15 million (HK$3.56 million) to charity amid allegations of embezzlement. The Kuomintang chief said yesterday he would give all special mayoral expenses to which he has been entitled during his eight-year tenure to 11 charities. The mayor is entitled to monthly expenses of NT$340,000, of which half does not have to be accounted for and is remitted to his personal account directly, according to a government procedure. 'I am a law-abiding civil servant and I draw a clear line between public and private matters ... I was shocked when I was suddenly suspected of graft,' said Mr Ma, referring to allegations he misused the expenses. Mr Ma is facing accusations of graft after revealing that one of his aides had switched receipts when filing claims for his mayoral expenses for 2003 to 2006. Mr Ma apologised on Wednesday but denied wrongdoing. As the KMT's best hope for the 2008 presidential election, Mr Ma has been under fire from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which has held numerous news conferences demanding his resignation. The attacks were seen as retaliation for Mr Ma's earlier push for President Chen Shui-bian to step down after Mr Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, was charged with corruption and forgery by judicial authorities on November 3. Mr Ma's four-year mayoral term ends on December 15. He reiterated yesterday that he would not resign because of loopholes in the current system that threaten to affect 6,500 government chiefs who are also entitled to such expenses. The mayor donated NT$6 million of the total NT$15 million to education and culture organisations late on Friday, and was expected to pledge another NT$4 million this week. The money, together with the NT$5 million he has already donated in the past few years, is equivalent to the total amount of mayoral expenses remitted to his account since he was elected in 1998. The donation, however, did little to shield Mr Ma from new attacks, instead inviting further public speculation. Some DPP officials said Mr Ma's donation was a reflection of his guilt. Political commentator Wang Shing-ching, who writes under the name Nan Fang-shuo, said he was disappointed with Mr Ma's donation because it was not a clever political strategy to deal with the DPP. 'Mr Ma always shows his wrong judgment when handling critical issues,' said Mr Wang. 'He doesn't need to prove his innocence by making a donation. He should resign and let the court prosecutor decide if he was wrongly accused.' He said speculation over the allegations had shifted the public focus away from the first family's scandals. To rescue Mr Ma from further trouble, some KMT officials said they had managed to secure NT$400,000 in receipts claimed by President Chen during his term as Taipei mayor from 1994 to 1998. With the receipts showing spending on fuel, water and flower arrangements, Mr Chen could also be charged with misuse of expenses. KMT legislators also promised to expose more dirt about Mr Chen.