The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had launched another smear campaign against DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) over her involvement in Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司), saying the KMT’s allegation lacked solid evidence.
The KMT said Tsai received improper benefits from the firm when she served in government, but according to DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), the KMT has purposely chosen to release only partial information and made the allegation purely on speculation.
A pair of declassified documents with Tsai’s signature dating from the time she served as vice premier were provided to the legislature yesterday by Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) in the presence of several KMT lawmakers and political pundit Clara Chou (周玉蔻).
Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠), one of the scientists who invited Tsai to join Yu Chang, told reporters on Sunday that the controversy has been “unfair” to Tsai.
In a press release yesterday, Wong said Tsai should be commended for her assistance in developing the biotech industry.
Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), former deputy secretary-general of the Executive Yuan, also told reporters yesterday that Tsai did not violate “revolving door” regulations on public officials because the regulation does not apply to deputies and the biotech industry was not under the scope of Tsai’s supervision at the time.
Chen said the so-called scandal is the result of collaboration between the KMT, its legislators, government officials, some media outlets and political pundits, and comes about a month before the presidential election, which stands to benefit President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign.
Chen said Liu had failed to maintain her administrative neutrality when she said Tsai had been called a shoo-in as Yu Chang chairperson at an investors’ conference on March 31, 2007, when she was still vice premier.
The KMT said Tsai was guilty of a conflict of interest because of her involvement with Yu Chang after she left office in August 2007 and she later became chairperson of the firm, which received investment from the state-owned National Development Fund (NDF), adding that Tsai had received NT$100 million (then US$3.3 million) when she sold her shares in the company in 2009.
The KMT has questioned Tsai’s role in the case on at least four grounds — investment of Tsai’s family businesses, her position as Yu Chang’s chairperson after leaving office, the classification of related documents as top-secret and suspected profiteering by Tsai and her family.
Tsai was keen on promoting the biotech industry as one of the nation’s strategic sectors when she served as vice premier and did not decide to persuade her family to invest after the start-up failed to attract investors in its initial stage, former CEPD chairperson Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) said during a press conference.
“The accusation of Tsai wanting to profit from this project is far from the truth. Without the Tsai family’s funding, the company would not have been created in time for the deal,” she said.
Ho added that it was not possible that Tsai paved her way to the position of Yu Chang’s chairperson because she would not have resigned as vice premier if former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) did not step down after losing the DPP primary for the 2008 presidential election.