Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and Lin Yao-wen (林耀文), director of former premier Frank Hsieh’s (謝長廷) office, yesterday denied a media report alleging that they were collaborating with gang members to influence the party’s chairmanship election next year.
The Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday alleged that Ker had cooperated with the Celestial Alliance criminal organization and Lin had secured support from the Four Seas gang, because the gangs had reportedly sent mass membership applications to the DPP.
The new members would help DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Ker’s ally, and Hsieh in the party chairman election next year, the magazine said.
Ker told a press conference at the legislature in Taipei yesterday that he would file a lawsuit against the magazine for defamation over what he dismissed as a “groundless” report, reiterating that he has never contacted any gang member about political affairs.
More than 2,000 applications for party membership was endorsed by his office out of blind trust, he said, adding that some of those applications could have been filled out by gang members.
Their endorsement was negligent and the applications would be revoked, the lawmaker said, adding that he has offered an apology to the DPP and its members over the matter.
Ker said he has never been involved in party factions and has never “bred” nominal members to win party elections. He added that he has always supported the selection of election candidates through public opinion surveys, rather than through primary elections.
Lin refuted the report in a press release, saying that he never had a junior-high school classmate like the one named by the magazine, which reported that the alleged classmate was his contact person at the Four Seas gang.
Lin said he demanded a correction and did not rule out filing a lawsuit against the magazine.
However, he admitted that rumors were doing the rounds about local gangs’ alleged support for Hsieh, adding that his office has been investigating the matter.
If there were mass applications from gang members, Hsieh and Lin both said, the DPP could easily find out who was behind the plot by looking at the name of the endorser on the application forms.
Responding to a media inquiry, Su told a press conference yesterday afternoon that he and Ker had never had a discussion about collaborating in the election next year.
The political maneuver which targeted Su and Hsieh “looked like a well-planned plot trying to complete a ‘double play’” to sabotage their political career, a DPP source, who wished to be anonymous because he was not authorized to speak of the matter, quoted Hsieh as telling the DPP’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday afternoon.