Wed, Jul 18, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ma invite not endorsement: KMT

MACHINATIONS:The DPP government has been trying to convict former president Ma Ying-jeou and his indictment is a political move, KMT Legislator Sufin Siluko said

By Lin Liang-sheng and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) invitation to former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to talk about his indictment at the party’s Central Standing Committee today is not political endorsement, but a move to clarify the issue for KMT members, committee members said yesterday.

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday last week charged Ma with breach of trust and contraventions of the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法) for his role in the KMT’s disposal of several party assets in 2005 and 2006, including Central Motion Picture Corp (中影), China Television Co (中視), Broadcasting Corp of China (中廣) and the old KMT headquarters building, during his time as party chairman

KMT Legislator and committee member Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) said that many KMT members knew that the party was at the time under pressure from the amended Broadcasting and Television Act (廣播電視法) to sell the media companies.

While party members recognize the validity of Ma’s handling of the issue, it would be good for Ma to clarify the matter, Hsu said.

Committee member Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) agreed with Hsu, saying the invitation is only for Ma to clarify the case and does not pertain to political endorsement.

Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said that reports that Ma intends to run in the 2020 presidential election in a bid to avoid prosecution is only media speculation.

Internet polls have been placing Ma alongside President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier William Lai (賴清德) as possible candidates for the presidential election, which means Ma still enjoys a high level of popularity, Wang said.

KMT Legislator Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) did not express any opinions on Ma’s rumored bid.

Ma’s case has already been investigated and closed by the judiciary due to a lack of evidence, and the indictment is the result of political machinations, as the Democratic Progressive Party has been trying to convict Ma, he added.

In related news, Ma’s office yesterday confirmed that Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) donated to Ma’s new foundation, without revealing the amount.

While the Ma Ying-jeou Foundation has filed an application with the New Taipei City government stating that it would have assets amounting to NT$5 million (US$163,848), it was rumored that Gou pledged stock worth NT$68 million to the foundation.

The foundation would be the third foundation that Ma has established and is expected to begin work on Friday next week.

Ma’s office had previously said in a press release that the foundation aims to create a rational and practical platform on which matters would be debated and reforms would be discussed.

The online media outlet Up Media yesterday reported that KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) camp was unhappy with the media hype surrounding the foundation.

Ma’s recent actions are aimed at garnering public support for his legal case, a KMT source said, adding that Ma’s actions were like a “kick in the back” for Wu.

Interactions between party heavyweights and Ma at the foundation’s inauguration ceremony on Friday next week would be indicative of his standing within the party and potential support for him, the source said.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang

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