Mon, Dec 29, 2014 - Page 3 News List

‘Confidential source’ rebuts Clara Chou’s allegations

HE SAID, SHE SAID:Ex-security official Chang identified himself as the ‘source’ Chou cited in her claims that Ting Hsin gave money to Ma, but said she misrepresented him

Staff writer, with CNA

A former security official embroiled in a high-profile political allegation yesterday said that while he detests corruption, he also deplores the usage of a private conversation he had to make public accusations about government figures.

Chang Jung-feng (張榮豐), deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council from 2000 to 2003, was implicated in an alleged political funding scandal involving President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) by media personality Clara Chou (周玉蔻).

Chou has alleged that Ma accepted NT$200 million (US$6.3 million) in political donations from food conglomerate Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團), which has been in the news recently over a spate of food safety scandals concerning its subsidiaries and products.

Chou quoted a “senior national security official” when alleging that Ting Hsin International had made the donation to Ma during his presidential campaign in 2012.

“What I discussed with Ms Chou was not whether the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] had received any political donations from Ting Hsin. My point was that if Ting Hsin does makes a political donation, it would likely offer NT$200 million at the most,” Chang wrote in a Facebook post.

Chang said he made the remarks that Chou misquoted during a private conversation with her on Dec. 3. He said that Chou had told him that there were rumors about Ting Hsin having made a NT$1 billion political donation to the KMT, to which he replied that “most people in the private sector know that if Ting Hsin were to make a donation, it would donate NT$200 million at the most.”

Chang added that he did not mince his words in criticizing what he perceives as the Ma administration’s various policy problems and even advocated a thorough investigation into the corruption allegations against the KMT.

“However, I can never condone the practice of using an unconfirmed private conversation as evidence to make public accusations,” Chang added.

Regarding his alleged role as Chou’s source, Chang said that she had sent him a text message on Thursday asking him to provide confidential testimony for the case.

Because many pundits were already speculating that the person whom Chou named as a “senior security” source was Chang, the former security official said he felt he should come forward to clarify the matter.

Chou said she respects what Chang wrote about her in his Facebook post, but would not comment further as the case is now being investigated by the Special Investigation Division of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.

In related remarks, Chang said that in recent years, he has traveled frequently to China and during these visits has witnessed the clean, efficient side of the Chinese government, as well as the rampant corruption in Chinese society.

He said that in comparison, “what I have been seeing in Taiwan in recent years is boldness in infighting and an unwillingness to solve public policy issues — a depressing trend that has held the nation back both politically and economically.”

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