Thu, Jan 24, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Taiwater head quits over extramarital affair report

‘MET A FEW TIMES’:The alleged affair might have affected Kuo Chun-ming’s reputation, pundits said, but pointed to his good performance as head of the utility

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Then-Taiwan Water Corp chairman Kuo Chun-ming promotes an emergency inquiry hotline at the utility’s headquarters in Taichung in 2016.

Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times

Taiwan Water Corp (Taiwater) chairman Kuo Chun-ming (郭俊銘) yesterday resigned after a report that he was having an extramarital affair.

“Due to today’s news report on my actions, which some people might find questionable, and to avoid causing problems for the government, including damaging Taiwater’s image, I hereby resign from my chairman position effective today,” Kuo said in a statement.

The Chinese-language Next Magazine reported that Kuo over the past month took a woman surnamed Yang (楊) to a motel in Taichung on three separate occasions, and published their photographs.

Yang is a deputy manager responsible for sales at a Taichung radio station and her husband, surnamed Huang (黃), is the station’s manager, the magazine said.

Commentators and political pundits said that the affair might have somewhat tarnished Kuo’s image, although they pointed to his good reputation and achievements as a competent administrator at Taiwater, which he turned into a profit-generating entity after years in the red under the previous Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration.

When approached by Next Magazine reporters, Kuo said he and Yang were discussing business matters.

“I had to ask her about advertising and other business planning, and we had to talk about promoting a public campaign on adjustment of water rates... So we had a bit more interaction and got together for lunch and coffee to discuss these issues,” he said.

“I have met chairman Kuo a few times and most of the time we discussed business, and I had my secretary with me... Sometimes we had to meet individually and we always went to shops owned by friends. Kuo is just like an older brother to me,” the magazine quoted Yang as saying.

Kuo, who is married and has children, is a former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker. He has served as director of the party’s Organizing Department and worked at environmental protection groups.

Due to his work experience and engineering background, Kuo was appointed Taiwater chairman in 2016, after the DPP came to power.

State-owned Taiwater is responsible for managing and maintaining the water supply nationwide except in Taipei, which has its own water utility. It is one of the nation’s two critical utilities alongside Taiwan Power Co.

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