Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused Chinese Television System (CTS) chairperson and general manager Yaly Chao (趙雅麗) of malfeasance and obtaining her position illegally, saying Chao should be suspended immediately.
CTS convened a provisional meeting to select a new board of directors and supervisors on June 26, three days before the Ministry of Culture (MOC) held a review meeting for the appointment of a new governing body for the Public Television System (PTS), DPP Legislator Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) told a press conference.
Since the PTS’ board of directors is entitled to select the head of CTS, the timing of the provisional meeting has aroused speculation that Chao only called it to safeguard her personal interests, Cheng added.
Because Chao was not named by the new board of directors as the general manager, she has held the position illegally since June 26 and should be suspended immediately, Cheng said.
As the ministry’s review meeting for the PTS’ board of directors is scheduled to be held tomorrow and between three and five months would be needed for PTS’ governing body to take over CTS affairs, it is doubtful whether Chao could safeguard CTS’ interests in the interim period, Cheng said.
Chao has been allegedly involved in numerous controversies, including covering up the company’s losses, reportedly more than NT$930 million (US$31 million) as of September last year, from its shareholders, DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said.
Yao said local media reported that under Chao’s leadership, CTS has lost an additional NT$15 million a month by filming three new programs produced by Chao’s students, adding that it had made a dubious donation of NT$600,000 to the Innovative Center for Cultural and Creative Industries at Tamkang University in New Taipei City (新北市), where she had served as chief executive, in the name of promoting “industry-academia cooperation.”
Sylvia Feng (馮賢賢), former Public Television Service Foundation president and chief executive, also accused the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of “messing up PTS,” saying Ma’s political maneuvering in the long-running dispute over the embattled public broadcaster had made matters worse.
“The Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] wanted to take back CTS, which owns billions in property assets,” Feng said.
The PTS controversy started in June 2009 when the KMT-dominated legislature passed an amendment to the Public Television Act (公共電視法) to raise the number of PTS board members. Civic groups alleged that the move constituted political interference in the public broadcaster’s operations, and judicial wrangling between the government and managers ensued.
The three-year tenure of the sitting board members of the PTS expired in December 2010, but the broadcaster has not been able to bring in new, legally elected members.