DPP dismisses report on mafia links

SLANDER::In response to allegations that a party member endorsed the party membership of gang members, the DPP’s chairman said he had been a victim of mafia activities

By Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporter, with Staff Writer

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 - Page 3

“The Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] will never have ties with gangsters as long as I remain party chairman,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.

Su made the remarks after a magazine alleged DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) had endorsed known criminals for DPP membership.

The Chinese-language the Journalist magazine on Wednesday reported that members of the “Sun Gang,” a subsidiary of the Tientaomen (天道盟) criminal organization, were among about 500 recent applicants for DPP membership, who were endorsed by Ker.

The magazine alleged Ker’s introduction of these applicants was likely a preparatory step toward next year’s DPP chairmanship party primary.

Ker on Wednesday rejected the media report, saying that he had never been involved in party factions and had never organized nominal party members.

In response to media queries yesterday, Su said he himself had been the victim of mafia activity incited by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the past, and that as long as he remained at the helm of the party, the DPP would never allow mafia elements to enter its ranks.

Su’s aides later said that Su was referring to an incident in 1993 in which Su’s attempt to run for another term as Pingtung County commissioner was thwarted by mafia activity organized by Cheng Tai-chi (鄭太吉).

Su yesterday said the party would demand its local party branches to place all party applications under the strictest standards of screening and employ the party’s anti-mafia regulations to the fullest.

Meanwhile, as former DPP legislator Kuo Cheng-liang (郭正亮) and Ker went head-to-head over the incident, Su called upon party members to restrain themselves from attacking fellow party members without substantial evidence or proof.

The DPP is a political party with a history, but despite that it still has a working system, Su said, adding that since its founding in 1986, party members have had great expectations and hopes for the party and wanted to see it improve, but that was no reason for baseless slander of fellow members.

“If any member has concrete proof, they should provide said proof to party headquarters, the party would take all claims seriously and launch a thorough probe accordingly,” Su said.

Meanwhile, the party’s deputy secretary-general Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅) said the DPP has strict and precise regulations on member recruitment, party invitations, party fee payments and party member rights, adding that the party has numerous times made resolutions prohibiting the payment of party funds by proxy.