Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) yesterday became the target of criticism from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over allegations that he served as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign organizer and was a secret informant for the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) authoritarian regime.
A group of DPP officials led by DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) yesterday filed a complaint with the Control Yuan against Chen and five other COA officials, accusing them of exploiting administrative resources for Ma’s campaign.
According to the DPP, Chen and KMT vice chairman Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) together led a supporting group associated with the agricultural community to campaign for Ma’s re-election bid, in which the five other COA officials served as KMT contact persons to reach out to voters in that community.
Among the contact people are Farmer Assistance Department Director Tsao Shao-huei (曹紹徽), Food and Agriculture Agency Director Li Tsang-lang (李蒼郎), Husbandry Division Director Hsu Kuai-sheng (許桂森) and Fisheries Agency Director Sha Chih-yi (沙志一).
The DPP asked the government watchdog to investigate the COA officials, who the party said have violated the political neutrality of the civil service and availed themselves of their positions to help Ma gain electoral benefits.
Chen and the COA officials had violated the Civil Service Administrative Neutrality Act (公務人員行政中立法) and Article 131 of the Criminal Code, Lin said.
“The COA officials have blatantly trampled over the laws. The Control Yuan should look into their responsibilities,” Lin said.
The COA not upholding administrative neutrality is not the only case, as similar practices have been common among government agencies under the Ma administration, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said during a presidential campaign stop yesterday.
“This is a serious violation of administrative neutrality,” Tsai said, urging the Executive Yuan — the top administrative body — to clarify the alleged violations and explain the matter to the public.
Earlier at a legislative question-and-answer session, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who is Ma’s running mate in the January presidential election, told DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) he was not aware of the group.
Wu refused to comment on the alleged violations of administrative neutrality, but agreed to get back to Chiu in three days.
“I can’t judge the situation now because you often make false accusations,” he said.
Chiu shouted back, saying the list of names were all written down in ink on paper.
Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) yesterday accused Chen of having been a secret informant for the former KMT authoritarian regime while pretending that he was a member of World United Formosa for Independence (WUFI), the main overseas group dedicated to pursuing Taiwanese independence and democratization.
Huang-liang based his allegation on an article published yesterday on the op-ed page of the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper).
The article was written by Lin Hsin-chih (林心智), a retired college teacher, in which he described how he was approached by Chen in 1978 when he studied at the University of Illinois after he completed his doctoral degree at the University of Georgia and was not allowed by the then-KMT regime to return to Taiwan.
Lin recalled that Chen, who claimed he was also a member of the WUFI, invited him to attend a demonstration in protest of the then-KMT regime held in Chicago, but Chen just stood on the sidelines of the protest while taking photographs.
Lin said he believed that Chen was spying for the KMT regime on overseas students and pro-independence activists when Chen was a student at the University of Illinois, because Chen knew Lin’s affiliation with the WUFI.
Tsai called on Chen to give his account of the matter.
Additional reporting by Chris Wang
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted