President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) began his campaign for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman election, in which he is the sole candidate, by giving seven presentations in southern Taiwan yesterday.
Ma proposed dealing with party assets, enhancing cooperation between the party and the government, using the Central Standing Committee as the communication platform between the party and the government, reforming the party, offering candidates with integrity and cultivating younger talent.
“I am not running in the KMT chairman election to expand my power, but to fulfill my responsibilities ... The KMT should continue its reform efforts and fight corruption,” Ma said in Pingtung County.
He promised that the KMT would not own any businesses if he was elected and that it would play an assistant’s role in helping implement government policies.
When asked to comment on the Ministry of National Defense’s anti-corruption efforts, Ma said he had ordered the ministry to get to the bottom of the alleged corruption to restore public confidence.
The ministry released a report earlier this month that said 142 employees were suspected of graft or bribery and would be referred to military prosecutors for investigation.
Ma said he would review the progress of the investigations every three months.
“By doing so, I believe all the people will know our determination to fight corruption,” he said.
The ministry was studying the possibility of establishing government ethics agencies to prevent corruption, Ma said.
He also expressed his support for the Ministry of Justice to regulate the conduct of political critics in the media, but said solid proof should be presented if such individuals were to be investigated.
Ma visited Pingtung, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County, Tainan City, Tainan County, Chiayi County and Chiayi City yesterday.
In Kaohsiung City, Ma promised to attend the opening ceremony of the World Games on Thursday.
He also reiterated his hope of communicating with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and extended an invitation to DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for talks. He promised to seek cross-party cooperation with the DPP if elected.
Ma is scheduled to give eight more platform presentation meetings in central Taiwan on Saturday, and then visit Penghu, Matsu and Kinmen on Sunday.
The Presidential Office said Ma would only campaign on weekends and after working hours, and would pay for all his campaigning expenses to ensure no national resources are used.
It said no Presidential Office staffers would accompany him on campaign events.
The KMT election will be held on July 26.