Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) yesterday said she suspected President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had favored individuals with close personal ties to him in the latest round of military promotions, citing Wang Hsuan-chou (汪旋周), chief aide-de-camp to the president, as one of four brigadier generals promoted to the rank of major general.
“The promotions, in particular Wang’s, appear to be Ma’s attempt to reward his confidants, but they will cost taxpayers a lot of money,” Yeh told a press conference.
The promotion of a total of 31 generals, the largest round of military promotions since Ma took office in 2008, was not in line with the Ministry of National Defense’s goal of streamlining military personnel, Yeh said.
Military promotions are announced by the president every six months.
Several promoted officers came from the Presidential Office or offices of ministers, including Yang Chi-jung (楊基榮), aide-de-camp of the Presidential Office, Lee Tsung-hsiao (李宗孝) from the office of the Chief of General Staff and Ku Cheng-hsing (顧正興) from the office of the minister of national defense. This suggests they were promoted more because of personal connections than military expertise, she said.
Some promotions did not meet legal requirements, the lawmaker said. Liu Shou-jen (劉守仁), commander of the air force’s Education, Training & Doctrine Command, was promoted from colonel to brigadier general in less than the required six years, and then promoted to major general, Yeh said.
While the Ministry of National Defense said that some individuals were promoted for outstanding and distinguished service, Yeh said, the ministry needed to offer further explanation.
Yeh said Ma has interfered with promotions of both civilian and military officials during his time in office and was destroying established systems.
Ma has promoted 259 generals since January 2009: 58 in 2009, 59 in 2010, 58 last year and 53 this year.