Fri, Jun 29, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Jaw was BCC's sole buyer: lawmakers

FUNDING Three DPP legislators accused Ma Ying-jeou of conspiring with the UFO Radio chairman to sell the BCC at a vastly reduced price to four `front companies'

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

National Communications Commission (NCC) Vice Chairman Howard Shyr yesterday rebuts Cabinet accusations of malfeasance and says the NCC welcomes any official who has proof to speak up.

PHOTO: CNA

UFO Radio chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) was the only buyer in the sale of the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC, 中廣公司) to four companies, three Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said.

The DPP lawmakers held a press conference yesterday to shed light on the shareholding structure of the four companies involved in the purchase.

They presented a chart allegedly showing where the four companies had sourced their funds from. It also depicted how and when the companies paid the money used to buy the BCC shares from Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co (華夏投資公司), which manages the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) assets, the lawmakers said.

Relatives

"It's very clear from the chart that the people in charge of each of the four companies are affiliated with UFO Radio and are either relatives of Jaw and his wife, Liang Lei (梁蕾), or their special assistants," DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓) said.

The KMT sold the BCC to China Times Group (中時集團) subsidiary Jungli Investment Co (榮麗投資公司) on Dec. 24 in a NT$9.3 billion (US$281.6 million) package that included China Television Co (中視) and the Central Motion Picture Corp (中央電影公司).

"The chart shows that the four companies paid NT$100 million in total to Hua Hsia, but how could they buy the BCC for that amount when its market value was estimated at NT$3 billion?" Hsieh said.

DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) conspired with Jaw to sell the BCC, a state-owned asset, at such a low price.

Ownership limit

The four companies, set up ahead of the transaction, were actually "front companies," and they were established by Jaw as a means to circumvent a regulation that bans individuals from owning more than 10 percent of a radio business, Hsu said.

"When the companies were registered with the Taipei City Government in August and September last year, Ma was Taipei mayor. He approved the establishment of the four companies," Hsu said.

The BCC's application to transfer its shares to the four companies and install Jaw as its chairman was approved by the National Communications Commission (NCC) on June 26, but the Executive Yuan has since expressed strong disapproval at the NCC's decision.

Cabinet spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) has said that the NCC members who took part in the review of the application would be referred to the judiciary, drawing ire from the NCC and pan-blue lawmakers.

At a press conference held by People First Party Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) at the legislature, NCC senior specialist Huang Chin-i (黃金益) said that the NCC had asked government departments to express their opinions on the deal during its review of the sale.

The Ministry of National Defense was one of the government agencies that had received such a request from the NCC. The ministry told the NCC that it did not hold any shares in the BCC and that there were no military personnel working at the BCC, Huang said.

Chang demanded that Huang release the documents the NCC had sent to government agencies, but Huang said that they were all classified.

Huang added that the NCC had asked the National Security Bureau (NSB) to determine whether any security concerns were involved in the share transfer, as two of the BCC channels were used to counter radio propaganda broadcast from China.

The NSB never responded to the NCC on this issue, Huang said.

This story has been viewed 3627 times.
TOP top