Fri, May 09, 2014 - Page 1 News List

‘China Times’ boss appointed to Control Yuan

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Wang Mei-yu, president of the Chinese-language newspaper China Times, is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Wang Mei-yu (王美玉), president of Chinese-language newspaper the China Times, was appointed to a six-year term as a Control Yuan member yesterday, the first acting media professional to be tapped for the job.

The Presidential Office yesterday unveiled its list of 29 members of the fifth-term Control Yuan. It was the second time President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has made the appointments during his presidency.

Wang was the third veteran journalist appointed to the position, following Huang Chao-heng (黃肇珩), who was general manager of Cheng Chung Book Co when nominated in 1993, and incumbent Control Yuan member Wu Feng-shan (吳豐山), who was previously a minister without portfolio.

“My 32-year career in journalism came to an end today,” Wang said.

Wang said she accepted the nomination and immediately resigned as president of the China Times, part of the Want Want China Times Group (旺旺中時集團) owned by Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明).

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) yesterday questioned Wang’s qualifications for the position.

“A member of the Control Yuan must be above partisanship and apolitical, but Wang has long worked with a media outlet that holds strong political views,” he said.

Among the 29 nominees, including Election Commission Chairperson Chang Po-ya (張博雅) being appointed president of the Control Yuan and former Council of Indigenous Peoples minister Sun Ta-chuan (孫大川) being nominated as vice president, only seven were incumbent members.

Liao Pen-chuan (廖本全), an associate professor at National Taipei University’s Department of Real Estate and Built Environment, was disappointed with the appointment of Shih Hung-chih (施鴻志), a retired professor of urban planning, because of Shih’s record handling controversial land expropriations.

Shih had demanded that reporters be excluded from a review of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis, one of the government’s flagship urban renewal projects that covers more than 3,000 hectares of land and affects more than 7,000 households, last year when he chaired a meeting as a member of the Ministry of the Interior’s urban planning commission.

The reason Shih then cited for the ejection order was that public interest was not a factor being considered by the commission.

As a professional expert whom the government has long consulted with on urban renewal and planning issues over the years, Shih has overlooked the importance of public participation in the decisionmaking process, Liao said.

The way he handled the review of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project showed Shih disregarded the values of democracy, human rights, justice and sustainability, which are all vital to ensure that such projects are in the best interests of the public, Liao said.

With the departure of Control Yuan members Ma Yi-kung (馬以工), Liu Yuh-san (劉玉山) and Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄), who have identified several major flaws in land expropriation cases over the years, and the appointment of Shih, the only candidate among the 29 with a background in urban planning, people facing eviction from their homes as urban renewal efforts mushroom could be left helpless when they turn to the Control Yuan for help, Liao said.

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