The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday revoked former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih’s (林益世) party membership, saying he had damaged the KMT’s reputation following his arrest over corruption allegations.
“The KMT nurtured Lin and gave him important roles in the past, but his behavior has seriously damaged the party’s reputation. Although Lin has expressed regret and is willing to leave the KMT, the Evaluation and Discipline Committee decided to revoke his membership in accordance with party regulations,” the KMT said in a statement.
Chuang Po-chung (莊伯仲), director of the KMT’s culture and communication committee, said that Lin’s case was under investigation and the party respected the judicial mechanism and expected the investigation to uncover the truth.
Lin, 44, a member of a clique of officails who enjoyed President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) trust, is suspected of accepting a bribe two years ago and demanding a bribe this year.
He is believed to be a Ma appointee, who was given the post of Cabinet secretary-general after losing his bid for re-election as a legislator in January. Following Lin’s downfall, critics said Ma should yield all decisionmaking power over Cabinet appointments to Premier Sean Chen (陳冲).
The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed the accusations that Lin was appointed under Ma’s influence.
“Top-level Cabinet officials are nominated by the premier and approved by the president, according to the Constitution. In practice, the president and the premier decide on the nominees together after discussion ... President Ma has always respected the premier’s authority to pick Cabinet members,” Presidential Office vice spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said.
Ma and Chen discussed the candidates for Executive Yuan secretary-general during the Cabinet reshuffle in February and agreed that Lin, who is familiar with legislative affairs as a former director general of the KMT’s policy committee, should be able to help negotiate with the legislative branch on behalf of the Cabinet, she said.
The president said on Monday it was extremely regrettable that a member of his administration has been involved in such a case and said the government should learn its lesson and be more cautious in personnel appointments.
“President Ma’s statement on Monday is a public apology, and when he talked about the administration being more cautious in personnel arrangement, he meant both the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan. President Ma himself is of course a member of the administration,” Lee said.