Fri, Apr 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT caucus accuses ministry of double standards

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

From left, Chinese Nationalist Party legislators Chiang Nai-hsin and Alex Fai, KMT caucus deputy secretary-general William Tseng and KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao chant slogans calling for Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung to step down at a news conference at the legislature in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday accused the Ministry of Education of applying double standards in its handling of allegations about teaching in China by National Taiwan University (NTU) president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) and Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮).

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should act according to the law and use the same standard to which it holds Kuan when dealing with its political appointees, KMT caucus deputy secretary-general William Tseng (曾銘宗) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Tseng asked whether the DPP wanted to “make an example” of Kuan, because it planned to restrict academic exchanges with China.

Kuan, who was elected president on Jan 5, was originally scheduled to take office on Feb. 1, but his inauguration has been postponed, amid allegations of plagiarism, a conflict of interest during the university’s presidential election and illegally teaching in China as a government-contracted professor.

The caucus compiled a list of 19 Executive Yuan officials who have allegedly held teaching posts in China, including Yeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) and Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-yi (林萬億).

As the ministry has created an intergovernmental task force to investigate any job Kuan might have held in China since 2005, it should subject the 19 officials to the same investigation procedure, Tseng said.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) accused the ministry of colluding with “online whistle-blowers” and “pan-green media” in the allegations that Kuan had taught illegally in China.

The allegations played out in a blow-by-blow fashion, suggesting that the ministry could have made arrangements with certain news outlets, he said.

Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) on Wednesday said that if the allegations against Kuan were true, the ministry would repeal the university’s election result, Lai said.

Such remarks contravene Article 9 of the University Act (大學法), which does not give the ministry the right to annul a national university’s presidential election result, Lai said.

As an official mandated by law to uphold administrative neutrality, Pan’s remarks were aimed at ingratiating himself with his DPP masters, which was a “disgusting” attempt to secure his job, Lai said.

The ministry can first approve Kuan’s election and deal with any illegal issues later by following judicial procedures, he said.

The ministry has turned the university into an international laughingstock due to its “obstruction” of Kuan’s inauguration, KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said.

Its handling of Kuan’s case is a demonstration of authoritarianism, he said.

Pan is unfit for his post, he said, as he joined his colleagues in shouting slogans calling for Pan to step down.

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