A Control Yuan member nominee met a fusillade of questions yesterday from an opposition legislator who called into question the nominee’s qualifications and exposed suspected cronyism due to the nominee’s support for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) during the presidential election and having some of Ma’s confidants as board members in his family business.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) grilled Hsu Kuo-wen (許國文) over allegedly using his family businesses in Yilan — the Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital, the Lo-hsu Foundation that runs the hospital and Lo-hsu Construction — as tools for building a close relationship with Ma.
National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) and Lo Chih-cheng (羅智成), former Taipei Information Department commissioner when Ma was Taipei City mayor and president of the Central News Agency during Ma’s first presidency, were both board members of the foundation.
The board applied for member changes in April, Tuan said, adding that Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) replaced King on the board after King resigned to take up public office.
Tuan presented a slide show to allege that Hung has been obstructing proposals in the legislature that would turn National Yang-Ming University Hospital into a strong competitor for Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital in Yilan.
“Hung proposed to slash the budget allocated for National Yang-Ming University in Yilan and later objected to a proposal to expand the hospital and turn it into a medical center,” said Tuan, who also disclosed that Hung is on extremely good terms with Hsu’s father, who reportedly is referred to by Hung as “dad.”
“You tell me. Is it possible that a man with a family business like this would not try his best to safeguard the benefits of his family business and exert pressure on administrative agencies after he becomes a Control Yuan member [whose job is to oversee administrative units]?” Tuan said.
Hsu, said Tuan, was also the convener in Yilan of a support group that rallied for Ma in the 2012 presidential election.
“And in 2009, when the KMT’s then-Yilan County commissioner Lu Kuo-hua (呂國華) ran for re-election, the Lo-hsu Foundation’s office was used, and King, then KMT secretary-general-in-waiting, often met with Lu at the Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital,” Tuan added.
The DPP legislator also slammed Hsu’s nomination, saying that his family-owned hospital has been rated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2012 with a grade amounting to a “sweatshop hospital.”
Tuan asked how Hsu, as a prospective a Control Yuan member who is to oversee administrative agencies that regulate hospitals, could be regarded as qualified for the job.