Thu, Jul 05, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Premier should apologize for appointment: KMT

‘DESTABILIZING’:While William Lai repeatedly endorsed Wu, the nomination was a political move, the KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director said

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday demanded an apology from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier William Lai (賴清德) for appointing former minister of education Wu Maw-kuen (吳茂昆), who was impeached on Tuesday for infringing on National Dong Hwa University’s intellectual property rights while he was president of the university.

“Lai, who insisted on nominating Wu as education minister, despite him being dogged by controversy, should apologize to the public for his lack of judgement and for destabilizing society and the higher-education sector,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) told a morning news conference in Taipei.

Hung said Wu’s nomination in April was clearly a political move by the Tsai administration to block then-National Taiwan University (NTU) president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) from taking office.

Despite Lai’s repeated endorsement of Wu’s character, Hung said Wu became the shortest-serving education minister in late May when he resigned after a series of accusations were made against him, including his alleged illegal acquirement of NT$176 million (US$5.77 million) in research grants while serving as National Dong Hwa University president and his application for international patents for a technology owned by the school under the name of his company, Spiranthes Biotech Corp.

“Wu has also become the first former Cabinet member to be impeached by the Control Yuan in a unanimous vote,” Hung said.

Wu was appointed minister of education on April 16, after Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) resigned over what he said was political manipulation and slander directed at the ministry.

He was accused of stalling the appointment of Kuan, a KMT member, due to his political leaning.

On April 27, the ministry decided not to approve Kuan’s appointment, citing his failure to avoid a conflict of interest in the NTU presidential election. It then ordered the university to restart its review of the recommended candidates’s qualifications, effectively renouncing Kuan’s election.

The KMT caucus said both Tsai and Lai owe the public an apology for their inability to judge the integrity of candidates and their failure to fill the vacancy to date.

“Control Yuan members nominated by Tsai voting in favor of Wu’s impeachment and a resolution passed by Academia Sinica research fellows calling for the government to respect university autonomy serve as a reminder of how absurd the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] administration’s handling of the NTU presidential election has been,” KMT caucus secretary-general Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) said.

The KMT caucus urged the DPP to leave the election of NTU president to the discretion of the university’s presidential election committee.

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