Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - Page 3 News List

MOC fires deputy Vicki Chiu over letter

‘UNFAIR AND REGRETTABLE’:The daughter of media tycoon Chiu Fu-sheng said she wanted to give her superiors ‘a present,’ suggesting she would not contest the decision

Staff writer, with CNA

Deputy Minister of Culture Vicki Chiu (邱于芸) has been sacked for writing a letter to Minister of Culture Hung Meng-chi (洪孟啟), in which she denied having leaked official documents, the Ministry of Culture (MOC) said late on Friday.

In a media release, the ministry said Chiu’s letter indicated that there are “doubts” about the efficacy of communication between Hung and his deputy and that the letter “ran counter to administrative ethics.”

To avoid difficulties executing the ministry’s policies, Hung on Friday sought and received the approval to relieve Chiu of her duties, the media release said.

Chiu late on Friday issued a statement in which she reiterated that she was not the official who talked to reporters regarding a ministry discussion in May about the possibility of making payments to lawmakers affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the guise of subsidies in exchange for their support of the ministry’s budget proposal.

There had been rumors she was the source of the leak and she was unable to secure the assistance of other officials in the ministry to clear her name, so she wrote a letter to defend herself, Chiu said.

The daughter of media tycoon Chiu Fu-sheng (邱復生) and a former college assistant professor who received a doctorate from Cambridge University, Vicki Chiu said the decision to fire her from the post she was appointed to in January was “unfair and regrettable.”

She said she “would still like to give my superiors a present,” suggesting that she does not plan to contest the decision.

The controversy over the ministry’s alleged misuse of government funds stems from September last year, when a report in Next Magazine alleged that the ministry attempted to secure budget approval by offering KMT lawmakers NT$2.5 million (US$76,911) each in return for their support.

Hung offered to resign over the controversy, but his offer was turned down on Sept. 30 last year by Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) and the focus of the issue soon turned to the source of the magazine’s purported information.

The ministry said in its Friday media release that it is working with the ethics department and the Ministry of Justice’s Agency Against Corruption in an investigation into matter.

In an update published on Friday, Next Magazine cited Ministry of Culture officials as telling investigators that the idea of paying KMT lawmakers for their approval of its budget was just a proposal raised during a meeting of top officials that was never adopted.

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