Mon, Jul 14, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Newsmaker: Former top secret agent provides political views

SPILLING THE BEANS The former spy chief talks frankly about his 37-year career and his often stormy relationships with top politicians and ministers

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former director-general of the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation, Wang Kuang-yu (王光宇), last week became the first secret agent to publish a book about his 37-year career at the bureau.

His book, Neutral, was launched at a press conference on July 9. Two former heads of the bureau, Weng Wen-wei (翁文維) and Wu Tung-ming (吳東明), as well as current Director-General Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) and two Deputy Director-Generals, Cheng Ming-shun (鄭明順) and Tsui Hsiang-sheng (崔祥昇), were present at the launch to endorse Wang's book, which is actually his biography.

Wang was regarded as a "transmitting director-general" of the bureau when the DPP was gradually taking over control of the country's politics, the military, intelligence agencies and the police from the KMT government after President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was elected in 2000. However, Wang always regarded himself as a loyal KMT member.

"Whoever works at the bureau should stay neutral toward politics. That is the bottom line to being a special agent," Wang said. "However, I am proud to say that I have been a loyal KMT member throughout my life and since I have retired from the force." Wang's statement was endorsed by his then-supervisor Wu.

"Everybody knows that Wang is a loyal KMT member but everybody also knows that he never mixed his passion for the party with his job. It is very difficult but he really did it," Wu said at the press conference.

Arguments and conflicts between Wang and Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) are nothing new and these made front pages when Wang left the bureau in 2001.

Chen tried to replace the bureau with two new offices -- the Political Inspection Agency and the Drug Enforcement Agency -- but his proposal was rejected by Wang.

Wang once said in public, "Chen knows nothing about the bureau. It will take us more than four hours to brief him about everything but I am afraid that our four-hour briefing will still be in vain, even if we do that." Wang also explained in his book why he did not like Chen.

"He is always extremely picky on his fellow officials. However, if his requests or orders make sense, I will definitely follow them. If they don't, I will ignore them. As a result, I think he does not like me more than I like him," Wang said.

While approached by reporters at Wang's press conference, Yeh refused to comment on Wang's complaining about the minister as a former special agent. But, when asked whether he would issue a biography like Wang's, he immediately said, "Impossible."

Wang was born in Henan Province, China, on Sept. 4, 1940 but grew up in Tainan, Taiwan.

His father, Wang Yi-min (王宜民), was a major and a military special agent. General Tai Li (戴笠), who established the KMT's intelligence-agency system during Chiang Kai-shek's presidency, was Wang Yi-min's supervisor. Wang Yi-min later switched careers to become a police officer and because of his background, he encouraged Wang Kuang-yu and his younger brother Wang Kuang-yuan (王光源), who retired from the military intelligence agency, to apply themselves as special agents.

According to Wang Kuang-yu, the Wangs first lived in Kaohsiung in 1949 when the KMT government lost the civil war to the Chinese communists. They moved to Tainan when his father was transferred to the Tainan City Police Department in 1951.

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