A solemn-looking Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday defended her integrity as she accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of forging documents to blacken her name in connection with her involvement in Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司), now known as TaiMed Biologics Co (中裕新藥股份有限公司), adding that a national leader who mobilizes government apparatus to attack campaign opponents would only be repelled by the people.
“My life is scandal-free and no accusation can disturb or frighten me,” she told an impromptu press conference yesterday afternoon amid accusations from the KMT government that she abused her authority for personal gain in a biotech joint-venture project during her stint as vice premier in the DPP administration in 2007.
“Chairman Ma, President Ma, you should no longer stay behind the scenes, allowing your executive branch and KMT legislative caucus to attack your rival with forged documents and use fabricated accusations to obscure issues that should be focal points in the election campaign,” Tsai said.
On Monday, Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) and the KMT accused Tsai of profiteering, displaying a document that they said was distributed by TaiMed Group, from which Yu Chang Biologics was formed, at an investors’ conference on March 31, 2007. They said the document listed Tsai as one of the principal leaders of the start-up during the time she was vice premier.
Citing the declassified files, they accused Tsai of having profiteered from the National Development Fund’s (NDF) investment in TaiMed. The KMT lawmakers also said Tsai was in violation of the “revolving door” regulation that bans government officials from working for the businesses under their supervision within three years of retiring from the public sector.
However, the document was actually a TaiMed Group presentation from Aug. 19, 2007 — three months after Tsai left office, the DPP said on Tuesday, but the KMT inserted additional information on the copies provided to the media that suggested it had come from the March investors’ conference.
Meanwhile, Liu on Wednesday said the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) had officially requested CEPD cooperation in providing relevant files for examination.
“I wanted to ask President Ma: All documents have been kept in the government offices these past three years and there were no questions regarding them,” Tsai said. “Why in the last period of the campaign [in the run-up to the Jan. 14 elections] are those documents being taken away by the SID for an investigation? Is it part of the manipulation of the election? Is the public so easily fooled?”
Tsai said after she left the office as vice premier, scientists promoting the investment project invited her to serve as chairperson of Yu Chang because the company needed international negotiations and funding.
Tsai said she inquired about the offer at the Executive Yuan and was assured that taking the post was not a conflict of interest and did not violate any law before she agreed to take the post.
“I wanted to remind President Ma that the international community is watching Taiwan’s -presidential -election, and history will review what we are doing now,” she said. “For Taiwan’s democratic image and for Ma’s historical legacy, I ask President Ma to stop [the negative campaign] now.”
“Don’t ruin Taiwan’s democratic image and the developments and opportunity of Taiwan’s biotech industry in one election,” Tsai said.
In response, Presidential Office spokesperson Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said Tsai was making accusations against Ma without providing proof.
Earlier, Liu told a separate press conference last night that she “felt very sorry” that Tsai smeared her and her colleagues in the NDF with accusations of forgery, instead of responding to the public’s questions about the Yu Chang case.
Additional reporting by Amy Su
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