Sun, Oct 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

‘Hidden’ advice in resignation for DPP: Tang

NO MANIPULATION:The resignation statement of the commission head told officials not to profit from transitional justice, the KMT’s Tang Te-ming said

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee director-general Tang Te-ming speaks at a news conference in Taipei on Aug. 13.

Photo: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday urged President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration to learn from the resignation of Transitional Justice Commission Chairman Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄), which it said was a clear lesson that the government should refrain from cashing in on transitional justice.

Acting KMT Culture and Communications Committee Director-General Tang Te-ming (唐德明) said Huang’s resignation was not aimed at taking responsibility for the commission’s politically biased members and staff, like the resignation of former commission deputy chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽).

“It contains hidden advice to the Tsai administration that Huang did not specifically spell out — the government should not let transitional justice degenerate into a political tool, or use it for manipulation,” Tang said in a news release.

Huang’s resignation statement was riddled with concerns about the nation’s political environment and disappointment at how the commission, since its establishment in May, had run counter to his beliefs on what transitional justice should be, Tang said.

“The Tsai administration and the Democratic Progressive Party should listen to Huang’s advice and seriously reflect on what they have done since taking office and on whether the commission is headed toward its stated goals of ‘truth, responsibility, justice and reconciliation,’” Tang said, urging the ruling party to refrain from exploiting transitional justice.

Tang’s remarks came shortly after Huang released a statement yesterday morning in which he resigned his post to take responsibility for what he termed the “Sept. 12 incident,” which referred to how Chang’s plan to use a lustration law to turn public opinion against KMT New Taipei City mayoral candidate Hou You-yi (侯友宜) was revealed at an unofficial commission meeting that Chang convened on Aug. 24.

Hou has faced criticism over his role in leading the Taipei Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division in its 1989 failed attempt to apprehend democracy advocate Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), who self-immolated to resist arrest.

Since a partial recording of the meeting was leaked and published on Sept. 12, the commission has come under fire for its perceived lack of impartiality, with members from the pan-blue camp repeatedly urging the government to dissolve the Executive Yuan-affiliated body.

Hou yesterday expressed regret that a veteran democracy advocate such as Huang was not able to stay in the commission and change people’s perception of it being an “Eastern Depot,” a term referring to a Ming Dynasty spy and secret police agency.

Asked whether he considered Huang’s resignation as a last-ditch attempt by the ruling party to salvage its chance of winning the New Taipei City election and whether it would affect his election prospects, Hou said he had lived his life with a clear conscience and that he would continue to stride bravely forward.

“We should campaign with positive energy. Whatever the ruling party tries to pull off, I believe New Taipei City residents’ eyes are sharp,” he said.

Additional reporting by Weng Yu-huang

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