Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Huang calls for info on Ma, Ching Fu

2015 DOCUMENTS:Huang Kuo-chang quizzed the heads of the Financial Supervisory Commission and Ministry of Finance about papers related to bank loans for the firm

By Wu Chia-jung, Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Former president Ma Ying-jeou attends the closing ceremony of the Annual Global Views Leaders Forum in Taipei last night.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

The government must publish documents then-president Ma Ying-Jeou (馬英九) filed in 2015 in connection to the Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co’s loans, New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said yesterday morning.

The company, which won a contract to build minesweepers for the navy, is being investigated by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office amid allegations of fraudulent borrowing.

An investigation report issued yesterday by the Executive Yuan said that the Ministry of National Defense and state-run First Commercial Bank were negligent in rewarding the NT$35.8 billion (US$1.19 billion) contract and granting a NT$20.5 billion syndicated loan to financially unstable Ching Fu.

Huang made the request to Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) and Minister of Finance Sheu Yu-jer (許虞哲) during the question-and-answer section of a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee, asking the government to respond by the end of yesterday.

Ma sent classified documents to the Executive Yuan in 2015 to facilitate bank loans to Ching Fu, which were relayed through other governmental entities, Huang said, adding that he has material pointing to a secret, unrecorded meeting in connection to the loans.

The government must identify those who attended the secret meeting, the lawmaker said.

Koo said the commission did receive two classified documents from the Presidential Office at the time.

“I cannot respond to the question regarding why the documents were classified by the Presidential Office or the Executive Yuan. This is a question that their then-heads should answer. It is not appropriate for me to comment further,” he said, referring to Ma and then-premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國).

Sheu said he was unaware of such documents, but would need to investigate before giving a definitive answer.

Huang later posted on Facebook post: “It is puzzling why such documents could be classified. What are the grounds for keeping its contents secret? Are we to understand that for Ma, fixing bank loans for people satisfies the legal requirement for state secrets?”

“This serious scandal had cost the public dearly. There is no more room for evasion. Former president Ma, please come forward and answer our questions,” Huang said.

Ma’s office spokeswoman Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) issued a statement at noon demanding the Executive Yuan put Ma’s handling of the affair in its “complete context and process.”

“The Executive Yuan should not dance to the media’s tune and investigate only things that happened during the Ma administration,” she said.

Ma is ready to answer any of the Executive Yuan investigative task force’s questions in detail, so long as they are based on evidence and substance, Hsu said.

“Do not make anonymous accusations or leaks, or slander Ma’s good name,” she said.

Ma received a petition in 2015 from Ching Fu and passed it along to the Executive Yuan for processing, then dealt with three petitions the same way in May last year, she said.

“It is the right of every citizen to petition the president and the government has rigorous rules over the handling [of such petitions]. There was no so-called pressuring and there was nothing illegal,” she said.

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