The Control Yuan, which has been described as an “appendix” to the government, is about to be reshuffled, as its current members are set to finish their term at the end of this month, following longstanding criticism of their poor performance.
Considering that these officials cost taxpayers almost NT$1 billion (US$33.3 million) a year, they should at least do a positive thing before their term ends. If they impeach Minister Without Portfolio Lin Jung-tzer (林政則), who oversees the Taiwan Provincial Government and may be guilty of abusing his authority and subverting order within the civil service, perhaps they could alleviate some of the public dissatisfaction and anger toward them.
Former Government Information Office official Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英) — who referred to himself as a “high-class Chinese Mainlander” in a series of online political commentaries written under the pseudonym Fan Lan-chin (范蘭欽) in 2009 — claimed that the Martial Law era was a form of “good governance” and made a lot of inflammatory, racist remarks by referring to Taiwan as a “ghost island” and Taiwanese as “country bumpkins,” “mongrels” and “descendants of Japanese pirates” that needed constant oppression.
These remarks serve to show that Kuo is a narrow-minded, shameless racist.
Three years after being dismissed from his post, Kuo managed to worm his way into a job at the Nantou County-based office of the downsized Taiwan Provincial Government, where he wasted no time in applying for pension benefits that would grant him a monthly pension of between NT$60,000 and NT$70,000.
Putting aside Kuo’s shameless nature, there is no doubt that Lin, who oversaw Kuo’s appointment as well as whoever is hiding in the shadows behind must be held to account.
Lin could be guilty of three crimes.
The first is abuse of official power. In an unprecedented move, Lin hired Kuo, who had almost reached retirement age, to help him gain access to retirement funds he would not have otherwise been entitled to, and which would cause an estimated loss of at least NT$10 million to the national treasury.
The second is violating procedures for personnel recruitment by deliberately leaving out an interview in hiring Kuo that should have been part of the employment process, presumably to cover up his actions as well as his being on the verge of retirement.
And third is abusing his discretionary powers by increasing the weighting of his opinion in the evaluation of Kuo to 50 percent, when the standard weighting is below 40, and then giving Kuo an unfair advantage by giving him a score of 48 points, guaranteeing that Kuo would score the position.
The actions taken by Lin to benefit Kuo were not only done on the taxpayer’s dime, they also showed how this high-ranking official paid no regard at all to national laws or public sentiment. Lin was a legislator and a popularly elected mayor. It is very hard to believe that a Taiwanese politician could ever get involved with someone who has insulted ethnic Taiwanese like Kuo did.
Lin must have somebody behind him and that somebody is certain to also be exposed.
The public can only hope that members of the Control Yuan find their conscience and earnestly face the public’s call: Lin’s case cannot be allowed to be resolved by mere disciplinary action, he must be impeached to alleviate public anger.
Prosecutors should also launch an investigation and find Lin’s accomplices so as to give the public a proper answer.
Ling Po-chih is a former head of the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office.
Translated by Drew Cameron
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