The Government Information Office (GIO) said yesterday it would refer a Toronto-based official whose alleged anti-Taiwan remarks caused an uproar to the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries of the Judicial Yuan for investigation.
At a press conference after a meeting, GIO Vice Minister Hsu Chiu-huang (許秋煌) said Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英), director of the information division at the nation’s representative office in Toronto, would be removed from his position.
“The articles he published created an uproar … and seriously sabotaged the image of the government and the GIO,” Hsu said.
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
Hsu said the office would transfer Kuo to a “non-managerial” post after he hands over his duties to someone else in Toronto.
Kuo became the center of a controversy after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) last Wednesday alleged that Kuo had published numerous articles online that defamed Taiwan and Taiwanese using the pen name Fan Lan-chin (范蘭欽).
The articles referred to Taiwanese as taibazi (台巴子), meaning “Taiwanese rednecks” and wokou (倭寇), or “Japanese pirates.”
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
The author said “the imposition of martial law had been a benevolent act of the then government,” and that “[China] should spend many years suppressing [people in Taiwan] instead of granting any political freedom [to them] once it has taken Taiwan by force.”
Kuo was summoned back to the GIO for questioning during a meeting yesterday.
GIO Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) told reporters prior to the meeting that the office took the controversy seriously and would deal with Kuo according to the law.
Hsu said the GIO would refer Kuo to the commission because there was a “substantial gap” between the evidence collected by government ethics personnel and Kuo’s version.
If the allegations prove true, Kuo could be fired or given a demerit in accordance with the Act on Discipline of Civil Servants (公務人員懲戒法).
Asked whether the office would mete out further punishment, Hsu said summoning Kuo back to Taiwan was part of his punishment.
Kuo apologized to the public, but stopped short of admitting the articles were his.
“I should be able to meet a higher standard as an official based in a mission abroad. I’m no longer fit for the job. Regardless of how the GIO deals with me, I’ll handle it,” he said.
Kuo said he was related to Fan, but “our only relation was that our articles would all later be posted on his Web blog.”
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus deputy secretary-general Hsiao Ching-tien (蕭景田) backed the GIO’s decision, saying that any public official who makes insulting remarks against the country and its people should be severely disciplined.
Kuan said yesterday that the Information Bureau should remove Kuo from his official post or at least suspend him rather than initiate an investigation.
“The investigation will take a while and Kuo will retain his status as a public official and continue to receive his salary,” Kuan said.
The GIO covered for Kuo and disregarded the feelings of Taiwanese, Kuan said, adding that the DPP caucus could not accept such a decision.
Kuan said research had shown that aside from the pen name, Kuo had also written under the pseudonym Chao Teng-gi (趙天楫) to publicize dozens of articles defaming Taiwan and its people.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG
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