Confucius might help get Ma and Wang together

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Sep 20, 2013 - Page 3

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) could meet a week from today at the Presidential Office’s ceremony commemorating the birth of Confucius (孔子).

It would be the first time the two will be in the same place since allegations of improper lobbying were raised against Wang on Sept. 6.

That was the day the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) accused Wang of trying to take legal pressure off Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) by allegedly lobbying former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) and High Prosecutors’ Office prosecutor Lin Shiow-tao (林秀濤).

Ma followed up on the allegations on Sept. 8 by calling Wang’s alleged actions unacceptable and “a disgrace on Taiwanese democracy and complete disregard for the rule of law.”

Ma and Wang have not met since Wang returned to Taipei on Tuesday last week from the wedding of one of his daughters in Malaysia.

Although the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Discipline and Evaluation Committee decided to revoke Wang’s party membership, the Taipei District Court ruled on Saturday last week on an appeal for an injunction that Wang filed, saying he may keep his rights as KMT member if he paid NT$9.38 million (US$315,000) as a collateral deposit.

However, the Taipei High Administrative Court denied Wang’s request for the legislature not to void his status as a lawmaker.

The Presidential Office said that Ma had no plans to appear in the public this week, but he would attend several ceremonies next week to mark Confucius’ birth.

Both Ma and Wang are scheduled to attend the Presidential Office’s ceremony on Friday next week and it was difficult to say whether they would bump into each other at other ceremonies the following day, the Presidential Office said.

Ma’s stance on the improper lobbying scandal was that it was a grave matter that had no gray areas, and that he could not overlook any incident which would harm the concept of justice and equality and damage judicial independence, the Presidential Office said.

It declined to comment on a possible meeting between Ma and Wang on Friday.