Tue, Sep 13, 2016 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislators urge probe of former museum director

Staff writer, with CNA

Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers yesterday stepped up the pressure on former National Palace Museum director Feng Ming-chu (馮明珠) over a controversy surrounding her new position as an adviser to Beijing’s Palace Museum.

The lawmakers demanded that the National Palace Museum, the Cabinet and the Control Yuan launch an investigation into Feng for allegedly violating revolving-door regulations and a travel ban to China.

According to the Civil Servant Services Act (公務員服務法), public servants are forbidden from becoming board directors, supervisors, managers, shareholders or advisers in companies with direct relations to their work within three years of their retirement from their government posts.

The legislators also demanded that Feng quit a post in Beijing immediately and return to Taiwan to face an investigation.

If Feng refuses to return, she should formally emigrate to China and stop receiving a pension in Taiwan as a retired civil servant, the lawmakers said.

Feng, who retired from her job at the museum in May, has been found to have visited China several times over the past few months.

The legislators alleged that before leaving the museum, Feng approved her own application to shorten the period in which she would be forbidden from traveling to China from three years to three months.

According to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), former political appointees and local government heads who plan to travel to China within three years of leaving office are required to obtain prior approval from a screening committee composed of officials from government agencies.

However, the law also contains a provisory clause that allows discretion in shortening or extending the restriction period, based on the nature of the applicant’s position.

Fifty-eight officials from the former administration of president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), including Feng, and former local government chiefs from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) have abused the clause to shorten the period in which they are forbidden from traveling to China, DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said.

Feng has said that the three-month period was permitted because she was not involved in confidential work, adding that her appointment at the museum in Beijing is an honorary position with no pay.

In a similar case, former Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau deputy chief Wu Li-chen (吳莉貞) traveled to China on July 16 last year, after she retired, having shortened her own restriction period to just 34 days, DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said on Facebook late on Sunday.

Two months before her retirement, Wu directed the bureau’s secretariat office to remove her from the list of officials responsible for confidential duties who are subject to the three-year ban, Tuan said.

As a result, the ban on Wu was lifted on Aug. 19, last year, Tuan said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top