Sat, Dec 17, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: KMT split on continuing scrutiny of Yu Chang case

ONE-TRICK PONY:Some KMT legislators seem unable to let go of the Yu Chang carrot, while the premier said the party must focus on its achievements, not a single issue

By Mo Yan-chih and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporters

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said it planned to continue its examination of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) alleged illegal involvement with Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司). KMT officials denied plans to stop looking into the case, although other party lawmakers expressed concern that such a course of action could backfire ahead of next month’s elections.

KMT Culture and Communication Committee Chairman Chuang Po-chun (莊伯仲) said efforts would continue to uncover the truth behind the alleged investment deal.

“Tsai has failed to clearly explain whether there was any conflict of interest ... The KMT will continue to examine the case,” he said.

Chuang dismissed DPP allegations that the KMT was engaged in a smear campaign. He also criticized Tsai for trying to distract attention from the issue by focusing her comments on Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如), who Tsai said has lied about forging documents.

The case hit the headlines on Monday when Liu and the KMT accused Tsai of wrongdoing in connection with the biotech start-up while she was vice premier in 2007.

Liu displayed a document that she said had been drafted on March 31, 2007, to back up her claim. However, it later transpired that the document had been drafted on Aug. 19, 2007, at which time Tsai had already left her position as vice premier. The DPP accused Liu of fabricating the dates in an attempt to damage Tsai’s reputation.

In an election campaign meeting on Thursday, several KMT officials and legislators suggested the party stop challenging Tsai after what they described as serious “mistakes” by Liu.

Chuang said that although a proposal to stop probing the case had been made at the meeting, the KMT had no immediate plans to do so.

Several polls conducted by different media outlets showed support for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) slipped after the KMT attacked Tsai over the case.

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), the KMT’s vice presidential candidate, said yesterday that “it is not necessary to focus too strenuously on this case.”

“We have learned from media polls that support for Ma has increased by two percentage points. Although he did not lose points, he did not score much,” Wu said.

He said the party suffered a setback “because of [Liu’s] small mistake.”

“The [Yu Chang] case should stop here. Now that the documents [related to investments made by state funds in Yu Chang] have been declassified ... people can judge for themselves,” he said. “It’s not necessary to use it as a campaign issue.”

“[In the Yu Chang case,] people will believe what they want to believe. The KMT should focus on its political achievements rather than on a single issue,” he said.

Wu indicated that there was a consensus within the party to drop the Yu Chang case.

However, KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) yesterday said: “I do not think it’s right to bury at sea what is right and what is wrong in the Yu Chang case just because of a mistake about the date.”

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