The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday dismissed media speculation that former Taipei deputy mayor King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) would head Next Media’s (壹傳媒集團) new TV station in a bid to help President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) win a second term in 2012.
KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) urged the public to stop “imagining” ulterior motives and respect King’s decision to serve as chief executive officer at the station.
Yang made the remarks in response to a report yesterday in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that cited an anonymous source as saying King had accepted Next Media’s offer so that he could help Ma forge an “alliance” with the Hong Kong-based media group.
On Wednesday, King, who has been one of Ma’s top aides for years, said that he would take the job in two exclusive interviews published in the Chinese-language Apple Daily and Next Magazine, both owned by Next Media.
The source was quoted as saying that Ma’s aides felt that having a TV station that supported the president would be crucial if Ma runs for re-election in 2012.
The source said Ma’s aides feared a difficult election race as some political commentators sympathetic to the pro-blue camp have been highly critical of the government.
The story said Ma’s camp had therefore mulled the option of working with Next Media founder Jimmy Lai (黎智英), who has been on poor terms with the Chinese government, to counter criticism of Ma’s China policies and to repair his relations with the Apple Daily and Next Magazine.
When asked for comment yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said: “This would be a big disaster in Taiwan’s political circle if the speculation proved true.”