The Presidential Office yesterday spurned a claim in the media calling National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) the person who ordered former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) to leave, reiterating that it was MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) who proposed the idea, which was later approved by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Chang visited the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday without having received a notice of subpoena in a bid to “bring the truth to light.”
According to local media reports, which all carried the story by quoting “sources,” Chang told prosecutors that it was King who demanded his resignation.
The Presidential Office yesterday held its first press conference, after days of written statements, on Chang’s resignation, with Presidential Office spokesperson Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) saying it “contradicts the truth” for Chang, according to media reports, to say it was King who forced him to go.
King has long been called “the underground president” by the opposition, which accuses him of overreaching his authority on various occasions, including recent visits to a number of government agencies considered outside his purview.
The Presidential Office’s statement underlined Wang’s role in the matter, stressing: “Minister Wang has publicly explained many times that he himself proposed Chang’s removal from the post, an idea that was supported by the president and was not directed by King.”
Ma Wei-kuo said the Presidential Office admonished people against capitalizing on the matter for political means, “which would hurt both the country and the cross-strait relationship.”
However, Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) called into question the Presidential Office’s statement defending King, suspecting that it constitutes potential “collusion among witnesses,” as the president, King and the premier might all later be summoned by prosecutors and their statements would converge on the conclusion that Chang was lying.
Meanwhile, Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), who was appointed Taipei City mayoral candidate Sean Lien’s (連勝文) spokesperson on Aug. 17, was stripped of the position yesterday after calling for Wang’s resignation on a political TV show on Monday night.
Lien’s campaign director, KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元), issued a statement yesterday morning announcing that Chang Sho-wen, while remaining part of the campaign with other tasks, would no longer speak for the team.
Chang Sho-wen said later yesterday that he decided to resign on his own after discussions with Tsai on Monday night, when he received a rush of calls from the media following his criticism of the minister on the show.
Asked if he had come under pressure from the Presidential Office, Chang Sho-wen said no.
Also denying that the rearrangement had anything to do with the president, Tsai said Chang Sho-wen was removed from the post to avoid possible “misunderstanding,” as the latter’s remarks were “inconsistent with the campaign team’s position.”
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying: