Sat, Jul 12, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Candidate quits Control Yuan vetting

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Lo-hsu Foundation president Hsu Kuo-wen answers questions at the legislature in Taipei after being named as a Control Yuan nominee on July 3. Hsu announced his withdrawal from the vetting process yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-hui, Taipei Times

Control Yuan nominee Hsu Kuo-wen (許國文), whose family business in Yilan has been subjected to close examination by legislators, announced his withdrawal from the vetting process yesterday.

Hsu, president of the Lo-hsu Foundation, has been grilled by opposition legislators over reports that he used family businesses — the Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital, the Lo-hsu Foundation that runs the hospital and Lo-hsu Construction — to build a close relationship with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The 68-year-old nominee issued a public statement yesterday saying that the accusations that arose during the review session are all “rumors that contradict the facts about his family business, hospital and foundation and have nothing to do with [his] integrity and deeds.”

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said during a nominee review session on July 3 that National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) and Lo Chih-cheng (羅智成), former Taipei Information Department commissioner when Ma was Taipei mayor and also president of the Central News Agency during Ma’s first term as president, are both former board members of Hsu’s foundation.

Tuan said Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) of the KMT, who replaced King on the board after the latter resigned, is also on good terms with Hsu’s family and has obstructed legislative proposals to help the family’s hospital retain its stronghold in Yilan.

Legislators from the pan-green and pan-blue camps have called into question Hsu’s qualification for the job and said that Hsu was nominated only because his father, Hsu Wen-cheng (許文政), is a senior advisor to the president and was once Yilan County Council speaker and a national assembly representative.

Hsu Kuo-wen said in the statement that he accepted the nomination in the hope he could continue contributing to society after nearly 40 years working as a doctor.

“However, I encountered challenges issued against [the hospital, the foundation and the family business] during the review session, which are all rumors that are at odds with the facts,” he said.

“The allegations further took a turn for the worse due to my reticence, which has been mistaken as acquiescence and an intention to keep information hidden from the public eye during the question-and-answer session,” he said, adding that the accusations could have been dealt with and answered if he had been given sufficient time to prepare.

Tuan said that Hsu Kuo-wen needs to be clearer on which of the allegations he considers to be false accusations.

“Should the person who nominated him not be held accountable for this? Hsu Kuo-wen could have passed the review and become a Control Yuan member had the DPP not obstructed the voting process,” Tuan said.

Ma was quoted by Presidential Office spokesman Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) as expressing regret over Hsu Kuo-wen’s withdrawal and also called on the legislature to schedule the confirmation vote for the rest of the candidates as soon as possible.

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