Tue, May 23, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Liu Wen-hsiung accuses Kuo Yao-chi of nepotism

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

People First Party (PFP) Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) yesterday accused Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪) of appointing a friend recommended by her husband to the position of secretary-general of the China Aviation Development Foundation (CADF).

Kuo denied the accusation, saying she would consult with an attorney to see if legal action should be taken against Liu.

According to Liu, Wu Cheng-chih (吳正之), the CADF's new secretary-general, has no background in aviation. Liu called on Kuo to step down if any connection were found between Wu and her husband.

"[Wu] is not a friend of mine or of my husband," Kuo said in response. "And he is not related to any political heavyweights, either."

Kuo said Wu was recommended by a friend of hers. All the candidates for the position, she said, were judged according to specific criteria. The secretary-general, she said, cannot have a political background. The candidate must also have several years of administrative experience and a decent character, she said.

Wu even suggested that he be given the job on a trial basis and be replaced immediately if he proved incapable, Kuo said.

"It is inappropriate for people to speculate and to attempt to associate this matter with my husband," Kuo said.

Liu made his allegation at a legislative Transportation Committee meeting yesterday, in which Kuo was also blamed for the fact that motorists had been breaking into the Hsuehshan Tunnel, which is scheduled to open next month, then posting pictures of themselves speeding online.

Liu and other PFP legislators also criticized Kuo in a separate press conference later yesterday for allegedly interfering in the appointment of three new members to the board of China Airlines.

The positions are said to have been filled by China Airlines chairman Philip Wei (魏信雄), China Steel chairman Chiang Yao-chung (江耀宗) and Wan Hai Lines chairman Chen Chi-yuan (陳致遠).

PFP Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said Chiang, as the chairman of China Steel and Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit System, has been involved in numerous scandals. Chiang would have no time to manage the business of China Airlines, he said.

"Kuo and Chiang intended to authorize Wan Hai to have greater power to manage [China Airlines]," Lee added.

In response, Kuo said the proposal to add three new members to the board was made by Wei himself.

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