Oct 09, 2013

    Son's lavish wedding costs official his job

    CHINA sacked a Beijing official for "extravagant waste" after he spent more than 1.6 million yuan (S$327,000) on a lavish three-day wedding for his son, state media said, the latest step in the government's crackdown on profligate lifestyles and graft.

    Mr Ma Linxiang, a deputy village chief from the Beijing suburb of Qingheying, hosted the estimated 250-table wedding at an upmarket convention centre that was part of the main 2008 Beijing Olympics venue during the week-long National Day holiday last week, Chinese newspapers reported.

    Mr Ma told the Beijing News that the wedding was hosted by both families, and that he "couldn't stop" the bride's family from splurging on the venue as well as a troupe of performers that included two celebrities famous for their own lavish wedding.

    Since taking office in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called corruption a threat to the ruling Communist Party's survival and vowed to go after powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

    Mr Ma said he paid for only the two days of festivities in his village that cost 200,000 yuan, and that he received a fraction of that back in gifts, the newspaper said.

    He also said luxury cars used at the wedding were "borrowed".

    The official Xinhua news agency reported late on Monday that district-level anti-corruption investigators were looking into the wedding to see if any laws or rules had been broken.

    Mr Ma insisted that he was well aware of Mr Xi's anti-graft campaign.

    "I'm a village official, I know all about the party's rules and what you should not do, but the bride's family insisted and I couldn't stop them," he told Xinhua.

    He described the bride's family as wealthy business people from the eastern province of Jiangsu.