Control Yuan member Chien Lin Whei-jun (錢林慧君) yesterday said that the Judicial Yuan’s Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries should give disgraced Toronto-based official Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英) “a heavy punishment,” saying his behavior may warrant impeachment.
Kuo was stripped of his civil servant status last Monday in the wake of a controversy over online articles he wrote under the pen name Fan Lan-chin (范蘭欽) that smeared Taiwan and Taiwanese.
Chien Lin said yesterday Kuo should be severely punished for his conduct, which violated the Civil Servants Work Act (公務人員服務法) and other regulations governing overseas officials.
Chien Lin registered her intention with the Control Yuan to probe whether the Government Information Office (GIO) sought to cover up the fact that Kuo was Fan during the time Kuo denied he had written the articles.
“My initial finding was that the GIO did not protect Kuo at that time, but we still need to talk to GIO Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) [next week],” Chien Lin said yesterday, adding that George Hsu (許秋煌), vice minister of the GIO, had been summoned by the Control Yuan to account for the incident last week.
Chien Lin said she believed Kuo’s behavior warranted impeachment by the Control Yuan.
“Through the investigation, the public would know the truth of the incident and civil servants would realize their responsibility to maintain discipline and fulfill their obligations, even though their working rights are protected by laws and regulations,” she said.
Meanwhile, former secretary general of the Presidential Office Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) and editor-in-chief of Contemporary Magazine Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒) filed suit against Kuo for public humiliation and slander.
Chen and Chin rang a bell in front of the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, accusing Kuo of publishing articles in which he called the two “violent pro-〝independence dogs” and other names.
Chen said he was filing suit because he could not tolerate the way he and Chin were referred to in Kuo’s articles.
“Mr Kuo Kuan-ying wrote in his online articles that we [Chen and Chin] are ‘violent pro-“independence supporters’ and ‘eunuch’s dogs.’ He means that he is a ‘high-class Mainlander’ while we are ‘high-class Mainlander dogs.’ This is a very severe insult to us both, so we came to press charges,” Chen, a Mainlander, said.
“This is my first time suing anybody,” he said. “Personal insults and slander cannot be tolerated under freedom of speech.”
Turning ethnic groups against each other is something that should not be tolerated in civilized countries and “ethnic hatred should not be used as a weapon,” Chin, also a Mainlander, said. He encouraged all those who have been slandered and defamed by Kuo to “stand up and sue.”
At a separate setting, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus deputy secretary-general Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) urged the public to stop focusing on the Kuo controversy now that the GIO had relieved Kuo of his government official status.
Lu said Kuo enjoyed freedom of speech like everyone else, but his remarks did not reflect the opinions of the KMT.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG