Thu, May 11, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Premier pledges to take back assets of Taisugar

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday requested the Taiwan Sugar Association, which used to belong to the Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar), return assets that used to belong to the government.

"I hereby assign Minister Without Portfolio Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs responsibility for the investigation of this issue. We need to figure out who pocketed the government's assets and try to retrieve that which used to belong to the government," Su said.

The premier made the remarks during the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday. His comments stem from a recent dispute between Taiwan Sugar Corp and the association, as a planned merger hit a snag.

The Taiwan Sugar Association is worth more than NT$4 billion (US$127 million), and was previously controlled by Taisugar. The association has refused to merge with Taisugar and insists that it is a private firm and is nothing to do with the company.

"The association was established decades ago during the Japanese colonial era. It does not belong to those who believe they possess ownership of the association. It belongs to the company. How can they manipulate the company, and then make the association a private firm simply by changing its registration?" Su said.

The premier said that he had been a lawyer for more than 30 years but he could not see any logic in this case because it was not logical at all.

"Was it a coincidence that the two government-assigned association board members resigned at exactly the same time? It is difficult to persuade me that they didn't do that to make government-owned assets private," Su said.

The association became a private firm on May 8, 2003, and was spun off from Taiwan Sugar after two government-picked board members resigned and left the association.

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