Thu, Mar 28, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Taisugar delays appointment

STATE ENTERPRISES Moves to have DPP Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen head the firm have critics charging the party is trying to `green' government-owned organizations

STAFF WRITER

DPP Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen shakes hands with people after a Taiwan Sugar Corp board meeting yesterday.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

State-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖) has postponed DPP Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen's (吳乃仁) appointment as company chairman until April 8 after a request from the Cabinet, according to local media reports.

Taisugar shareholders held a general meeting yesterday morning to discuss the company's new leadership. Wu was originally scheduled to replace Chien Ping-tsai (錢秉才) as Taisugar chairman. However the Cabinet -- Taisugar's biggest shareholder -- asked the company at the last minute to postpone the election of a chairman to early April.

Shareholders later appointed Ray Dawn (董瑞斌), former chairman of the Bank of Kaohsiung (高雄銀行), as the company's new general manager under the Cabinet's recommendation. Dawn will also act on behalf of the chairman until Wu takes over the post on April 8.

Speculation in the media suggests that the Cabinet delayed Wu's appointment so that he will not have to go through legislative interpellations over Taisugar's annual budget that start today.

Responding to the rumors, Wu said that the Commission of National Corporations (CNC, 國營會) informed him to attend the shareholders' meeting and assume the Taisugar post only a few days ago.

Wu added that he would be forced to hand over his position at the DPP to his successor in too short a time. After a discussion with the CNC, the commission agreed to postpone the appointment so that he can have more time to prepare.

"You can run, but you can't hide," Wu said, adding that he will not try to intentionally avoid the legislative interpellations.

According to Wu, he will quit his posts with the ruling party and will not campaign for the DPP during the year-end mayoral and city councilor elections in Taipei and Kaohsiung.

He also complained about the public's criticism, saying that his appointment is not a result of DPP efforts to "green" state-owned corporations.

However, many of the Taisugar shareholders who attended the meeting yesterday appeared to disagree with Wu and lashed out at the DPP for eradicating officials lacking ties to the party. Lin Tung-chia (林登甲), a Taisugar shareholder, even called the ruling party "garbage" at the meeting.

Upset with the criticism, Wu stormed out of the meeting during Lin's speech.

Wu later commented that although shareholders have the right to express their opinions, they should follow the meeting agenda and not waste others' time.

The leaders of many state-owned enterprises have been replaced by pro-DPP politicians since the party came to power two years ago.

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