Tue, Jun 10, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Nationality probe lists names

LOYALTY Responding to accusations by the DPP that some Cabinet members hold foreign residency status, the KMT said 21 officials under the DPP government did too

By Ko Shu-ling, Shih Hsiu-chuan and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Yi-shih points to a list of officials with dual nationality who served under the Democratic Progressive Party administration in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Presidential Office released yesterday the results of its nationality and citizenship probe as the government continued to dampen controversy over the number of officials and Cabinet members who hold dual nationality or permanent residency in other countries.

The office said that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and other high-ranking officials at the Presidential Office do not have permanent residency, but that two had either a US green card or dual nationality.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said that Chan Man-jung (詹滿容), an adviser to the National Security Council (NSC), had a green card, but that she intended to relinquish it.

Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) has US citizenship but is allowed to retain his status because the Nationality Law (國籍法) stipulates that the head of a research institution is entitled to dual citizenship.

Wang said he hoped the controversy would come to an end, adding that it was not the Presidential Office’s intention to pressure other government agencies to follow suit.

The NSC said that Chan, an international trade specialist, has devoted herself to the country’s efforts to join international organizations for decades and that her loyalty to the country was beyond question.

Chan did not relinquish her green card because there are no laws regulating the green card status of political appointees, the council said. Given the controversy, however, Chan has agreed to renounce her green card, the council said.

The council said that NSC Deputy Secretary-General Ho Szu-yin (何思因) once had a Canadian maple card, but forfeited it before taking office last month.

Wang said Ma does not have permanent residency in another country, nor do Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), Presidential Office Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏), Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川) or president of Academia Historica Lin Man-houng (林滿紅).

Kao Lang (高朗), the other deputy secretary-general, once held a Canadian maple card, but also gave it up last month.

Wang said yesterday that having permanent residency is different from having dual citizenship as permanent residency does not involve an oath of loyalty to another country.

While there is no legislation prohibiting officials from having permanent residency in another country, Wang said the Presidential Office nevertheless sought to determine whether any high-ranking officials at the office have a US green card or dual citizenship because of public sensitivity to the matter.

In related news, Chen Ching-hsiu (陳清秀), director of the Central Personnel Administration, told the legislature’s Judiciary, Organic Laws and Statutes Committee yesterday that 21 officials had had dual citizenship during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

The committee requested that the Central Personnel Administration investigate the citizenship status of government personnel stationed overseas and officials employed by state-owned businesses.

Meanwhile, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) came out in defense yesterday of Cabinet members under fire for allegedly having previously had permanent resident status in other countries.

“We live in a time where things are global and therefore need talent with overseas work experience. Some of those individuals have obtained green cards as a necessity. Given that, the best the Executive Yuan can do is ask them to renounce their green card before they join the Cabinet,” Liu said.

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