Official called out as corrupt on journalist’s Sina Weibo

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2013-7-30 0:18:01

Another senior official with the central government was accused of duty dereliction by a reporter on Monday, the latest in a series of such real-name reports in the country.

Ma Zhengqi, deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, was named by Liu Hu from the Guangzhou-based New Express Daily on his Sina Weibo.

Liu claimed Ma, when Party chief of Wanzhou district, Chongqing, helped officials embezzle State-owned assets during privatizing a local State-owned enterprise in 2002.

The enterprise, worth 27.7 million yuan ($4.5 million), ended up being sold for merely 1.7 million yuan to officials, causing huge losses of State-owned assets. "This violates Company Law, which stipulates that civil servants should not become board members of any enterprises," Liu told the Global Times.

The State administration refuted Liu's allegation Monday, saying that it was inconsistent with facts. Ma was not in office when the reform took place and was only handling the tasks left by his predecessor, first reported. However, this response could not be found online Monday afternoon.

Reports that Ma met foreign businessmen last Wednesday appeared on the administration's website on Monday, confirming that he still holds his position.

Liu said he has forwarded related materials to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. "I will not take the case back," he told the Global Times, adding that he has a duty after multiple petitions by former employees laid off during the reform bore no fruit for 10 years.

After thousands of reposts, the post was deleted by Liu on Monday afternoon. A reliable source told the Global Times that Liu was pressured into removing it. Liu refused to comment on this.

Liu Hailong, associate professor of journalism at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that journalists should cover corruption in their reports rather than social media, but most likely such reports would not get published.

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