Taipei city councilors from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the New Party yesterday accused Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如) of using her ties within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to receive government funding.
KMT Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) showed reporters in Taipei a 2016 letter in which Yi Shih, a company founded by Yang, appeared to ask the Taipei City Government to provide an official document approving the company’s cohosting of the WTA Taiwan Open.
The letter showed that it was copied to five city councilors, all of whom belong to the so-called “faction” of Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), she said.
Photo: Kuo An-chia, Taipei Times
Yang might have sent the councilors duplicates to show the city government that she had the backing of the councilors, she added.
The copied councilors have not expressed their opinions on the matter, Taipei Department of Sports Deputy Commissioner Liu Ning-tien (劉寧添) said, adding that the government subsidies for the tournament were reviewed and awarded according to the regulations.
Yi Shih received about NT$42 million (US$1.38 million at the current exchange rate) from the city government in contracts and subsidies for the 2017 WTA Taiwan Open, and about NT$50 million for last year’s tournament, the city councilors said.
The funds were provided in part by the Sports Administration; the Tourism Bureau; the Taipei Department of Sports; the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism; EasyCard Corp; Chunghwa Telecom; CPC Corp, Taiwan; and China Airlines, they said.
Hsieh and the DPP have distanced themselves from Yang, but Yang “does not want to distance [herself],” KMT Taipei City Councilor Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said.
“How was Yang able to obtain so much government funding?” Lo asked.
DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) on Tuesday said that Yang and the DPP have “no ties,” KMT Taipei City Councilor Yu Shu-hui (游淑慧) said, but added that photographs show Yang and DPP members at private gatherings.
Yang became a DPP member in 2008 and previously ran in DPP legislative primaries, she said.
Yang was being “fed by the DPP,” New Party Taipei City Councilor Ho Han-ting (侯漢廷) said.
A netizen on Tuesday night wrote on the online bulletin board Professional Technology Temple that an IP address used by Yang is the same as an IP address at DPP Legislator Huang Kuo-shu’s (黃國書) office, he said.
Ho called on Huang to explain whether he lent his Legislative Yuan office to a “Internet army” so that it could “attack” an official.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ office on Monday said that Yang paid NT$10,000 per month to members of her “Internet army” to post articles on popular social media platforms and comment on news stories in an attempt to influence public opinion.
Additional reporting by Lee I-chia
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