Fri, Oct 08, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Shinkong Synthetic's fight over leadership continues

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Contention continues over which sibling in the Wu family is the rightful chairman of Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp (新纖), a polyester subsidiary under the Shinkong Group (新光集團).

Self-proclaimed chairman of the polyester manufacturer Thomas Wu (吳東亮) yesterday disputed a rule made by the economics ministry's department of commerce on Wednesday that his younger brother Eric Wu (吳東昇) should be the lawful chairman.

"A photo-shot retaken from footage of the company's surveillance camera cannot prove that the letter of assignment [to reshuffle the company's board] had arrived before its board meeting" on Aug. 6, said Ku Jao-nan (辜昭南), secretary to the company's board, which elected Thomas Wu to its chairmanship in early August.

"Elder Wu wishes that his younger brother had sat down with him and resolved the chairmanship dispute in private," Ku told a press conference yesterday afternoon.

Ku said that the elder Wu would decide whether further legal action will be taken against the commerce department's rule based on the letter's arrival.

The letter of assignment to reshuffle the company's board became crucial evidence in determining whether the board that elected Thomas Wu on Aug. 6 was legitimate.

If the letter of assignment arrived before the board meeting, the board's action to give Thomas Wu the chairmanship would be seriously flawed, since the to-be-reshuffled board shouldn't have exercised their electoral rights.

On Aug. 6, Thomas Wu ignored his mother Wu Kuei-lan's (吳桂蘭) arrangements to appoint new members to the company's board, which would then elect Eric Wu to head the company.

The elder Wu acted on his own and took office as the company's chairman after the old board elected him to be the chairman. Wu further refused to obey his mother's demand that her third son should yield the chairmanship to his younger brother.

After a closed-door meeting of eight legal professionals on Wednesday, the commerce department appeared to have confirmed the authenticity of the footage from the company's surveillance camera and ruled that the board should have been reshuffled and that no chairman elected by it was legitimate.

The commerce department further ruled that Eric Wu is the lawful chairman since he was later elected by the new board, which rejected Thomas Wu's application to become company chairman.

The footage, which was pre-sented to the commerce department by Eric Wu, showed that an envelope with the letter of assignment was rejected at the com-pany's door before the board meeting convened on Aug. 6.

Officials at the commerce department were unavailable for comment yesterday.

According to local media reports, Thomas Wu has vowed to take administrative action against his brother if the ministry denies his chairmanship.

But Ku said that no action will be taken until the ministry's decision arrives in a written form.

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