Tue, Mar 15, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Commission urged to reject BCC

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) yesterday asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) to reject Broadcasting Corp of China’s (BCC) application to reduce its capital, saying it would help funnel funds to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The BBC, the nation’s largest radio network, was owned by the KMT. Due to a government policy banning government, political parties and the military from investing in the media, which took effect in 2005, the KMT sold its shares in BCC to Rongli Investment Co, which was then owned by the China Times Group.

The investment company sold its shares in BCC to four different companies in 2006, which were reported to all be affiliated with political commentator Jaw Shao-kong (趙少康). Jaw has close ties with the pan-blue camp, having run for a seat in the Taipei City Council as a KMT member and for Taipei mayor under the banner of the New Party.

Last year, the BCC proposed setting up an asset management firm to manage property it inherited through the transaction.

The BCC is to reduce its capital by about 81 percent to NT$600 million (US$18.25 million).

Yeh said in a question-and-answer session that the KMT still maintains control over the BCC’s assets, even after the four firms purchased the radio network. Showing a party asset report published by the KMT, Yeh said an investment firm set up by the party remains the creditor of the BCC’s assets, valued at NT$4.7 billion, which would be paid until the BCC’s asset management firm is established.

Yeh also said that Jaw had co-signed a check for NT$5.5 billion with the KMT to conclude the transaction, using BCC shares as a pledge to the KMT or a third party designated by the party. The KMT can assign people to serve as board directors of the BCC and the party reserves the right to approve or disapprove loans of more than NT$10 million that the radio network intends to secure, Yeh said.

Such details show that the radio network did not follow the government policy requiring government, political parties and the military to withdraw from media operations, she added.

Yeh said that the BCC used to have three board directors who are affiliated with the KMT. Fearing these illegal party assets might be discovered by the incoming government, the party sought to quickly replace these board directors with others to meet requirements of the law.

She said that the BCC inherited all of the equipment that it uses from the Japanese colonial government, which should belong to everyone, adding that the commission would give the people’s money back to the KMT should it agree to the BCC’s proposal.

NCC Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) said the trust deed between the KMT and the four companies that purchased the BCC was not an item subject to review when the commission ruled on the transaction, adding that some NCC commissioners had expressed doubts on this particular issue.

Shyr also said that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has sought to reclaim ownership of the property the BCC owns through administrative lawsuits.

The ministry has sought additional compensation from the radio network for illegally profiting from using these properties all these years, he added.

“The ministry has indicated that if we allow the BCC to set up a separate asset management firm and reduce the company’s capital, it would consequently affect the prosecution of claims on the illegal profits gained from using the properties,” he said. “Our attitude is the same as the ministry’s.”

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