Thu, May 08, 2008 - Page 3 News List

PNG aid scandal: KMT accuses MOFA of 'serious malfeasance'

FUTURE PLANS KMT legislators said that rather than the 'courteous' treatment the party had in mind for Chen Shui-bian, the president should be impeached

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Lien-fu holds up a photo at a press conference yesterday showing the prime minister of Papua New Guinea shaking hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

PHOTO: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus slammed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the nation’s security organizations over the Papua New Guinea diplomatic fund scandal yesterday, accusing the two branches of dereliction of duty for negotiating the fund deal with the two brokers even though information showed that Port Moresby had a close relationship with Beijing.

At a press conference held by the caucus, KMT Legislator Chiang Lien-fu (江連福) said the ministry and the security organizations failed to notice that Papuan Prime Minister Michael Somare had developed close relations with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and may never have intended to forge diplomatic ties with Taiwan when the ministry wired the funds to Ching Chi-ju (金紀玖) and Wu Shih-tsai’s (吳思材) joint account.

“Hu and Somare held at least one official meeting every year. He [Somare] reiterated his support for the ‘one-China’ principle,” Chiang said.

“Were we so stupid as to wire US$30 million to the brokers? The ministry was guilty of serious malfeasance,” he said.

KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) also questioned Premier Chang Chun-hsiung’s (張俊雄) motives in approving Chiou and Huang’s resignations one day before they were scheduled to answer lawmakers’ questions during legislative committee meetings yesterday.

“We can’t help but wonder what the Executive Yuan was afraid of,” Yang said.

Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), another caucus deputy secretary-general, urged President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to publicly account for the scandal immediately.

“So far, it remains unclear whether it was the president or Chiou who ordered the negotiations with Papua New Guinea. The National Security Council and the Presidential Office should explain the situation to the public without further delay,” he said.

Meanwhile, KMT Central Standing Committee member Hung Yu-chin (洪玉欽) condemned the government and suggested that the party use its legislative majority to impeach Chen.

KMT spokeswoman Chen Shu-rong (陳淑容) said that Hung also urged the party’s legislators to impeach Chen over the scandal and cancel the courteous treatment he is set to receive after stepping down on May 20.

As no other members gave their backing to Hung’s proposal, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) said he would send the proposal to the KMT’s policy commission and think tank for further deliberation, Chen said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MO YAN-CHIH

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