Mon, Mar 23, 2009 - Page 1 News List

KMT's Yang urges GIO to rule on Kuo smears case

POLITICAL HOT POTATO Former DPP chairman Frank Hsieh said ‘high-class Mainlanders’ in the government were trying to make political capital out of the incident

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus secretary-general Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) said yesterday she would urge the Government Information Office (GIO) to rule on the case of a Toronto-based staffer who is allegedly the author of a series of online articles smearing Taiwan and Taiwanese.

Yang told reporters that Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英), former acting director of the information division at the representative office in Toronto, could no longer be considered a competent official after he defied the GIO’s order to hand over his duties to his colleagues in Toronto.

Yang said the GIO should fire Kuo if he fails to return to Taiwan by the deadline given by the GIO.

Meanwhile, Control Yuan member Chien Lin Whei-jun (錢林慧君) has sent the GIO an official letter requesting documents related to Kuo’s case.

The allegations against Kuo were first made on March 11 by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), who accused Kuo of writing the articles using the pen name Fan Lan-chin (范蘭欽).

Kuo reported to the GIO last Monday after he was summoned to return to Taiwan to provide an explanation. He denied that he was Fan and was referred to the Judicial Yuan’s Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries for an investigation because the GIO said there were “substantial gaps” between the evidence collected by its ethics personnel and Kuo’s version of story.

The GIO also stripped Kuo of his job in Toronto and transferred him to a “non-managerial” position in Taiwan.

Kuo flew back to Toronto the next day so that he could hand over his duties to other staff members and has been instructed by the GIO to return to Taiwan by the end of the month, officials said.

Meanwhile, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday that “high-class Mainlanders” in the government were trying to make political capital out of Kuo’s comments. Kuo referred to himself as a “high-class Mainlander” in a newspaper essay.

Hsieh, who was accompanying Taipei City Councilor Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) — the DPP candidate for Taipei’s Da-an District (大安) legislative by-election — as he canvassed for votes, said: “The government should have condemned Kuo’s remarks, but it didn’t. Obviously ‘high-class Mainlanders’ serving in high-level government positions have connived with Kuo to downplay the seriousness of his remarks.”

Kuo’s comments have provoked ethnic conflict and confrontation, but because the KMT enjoys about 90 percent support in military residential communities, the officials believe remarks such as Kuo’s would help them consolidate their power, Hsieh said.

He also noted that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had not offered an apology over the matter.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG

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