Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday filed a defamation lawsuit against three Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials over accusations that he and a nephew sought to personally gain from state-run firms’ operations in Indonesia through a 2017 trip to that nation.
The suit was filed on Su’s behalf by attorney Fang Yen-hui (房彥輝).
KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) and KMT Institute of Revolutionary Practice director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) and deputy director Yu Shu-hui (游淑惠) on Monday said that Su and his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), had tried to profit from state-owned business operations in Indonesia, citing a declassified telegram sent by the Taipei Economic and Trade Office (TETO) in Jakarta to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2017.
Photo: Chen Wei-tzu, Taipei Times
Then-representative to Indonesia John Chen (陳忠) told then-vice minister of economic affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) in the telegram that intermediaries were hijacking state-owned businesses and seeking to exclude the government and the representative office from oversight for their own profit, the trio said.
According to the KMT, the telegram said that then-legislative speaker Su Chen-ching visited Indonesia in August 2017, accompanied by high-ranking executives from CPC Corp, Taiwan and Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar), as well as Taiyen Biotech and Tang Eng Iron Works Corp — which are partially state-owned — but had not notified the Jakarta office.
The trip, which reportedly included a meeting with then-Indonesian vice president Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and other officials, was arranged by Yangluck International Manpower Group president Kao Shou-tao (高壽濤), the KMT said.
Su Chen-ching reportedly visited again the following month, accompanied by Su Jia-chyuan, whose office told the TETO staff to meet the pair at the airport, or arrange events or offer support.
A meeting between Taisugar Division of Granulated Sugar director Tso Hsi-chun (左希軍) and then-Indonesian minister of agriculture Amran Sulaiman two months later also bypassed the TETO staff, the telegram alleged.
Sulaiman in December 2017 had initially insisted on meeting separately with Chen and Wang Mei-hua before agreeing to meet them together, the TETO telegram said.
It appeared that Taisugar had an “understanding” with the Indonesian government that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and TETO officials did not have to attend meetings or inspections, the telegram said.
Yu said she received a tip-off from anonymous Ministry of Foreign Affairs personnel about the issue after the cable was declassified last year.
The Legislative Yuan should investigate how deeply Su Jia-chyuan and Su Chen-ching are involved in the operation of state-owned businesses, Yu said.
The case was an example of the “complete corruption” he had warned against after the DPP became the majority party in the legislature, Lo said.
Su Jia-chyuan’s office said that he had traveled to Indonesia in 2016, not 2017, to thank supporters of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) after her election, while his trip last year was at the invitation of a local expatriate group supporting Tsai’s re-election campaign.
The office rejected claims that Su Jia-chyuan had been accompanied by top executives from state-owned corporations or that the visits were arranged by Yangluck, saying that both trips had been arranged by the head of the Tsai supporters’ group, Chuang Pei-lung (莊丕龍).
Alicia Wang yesterday said that a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) earlier in the day claimed that the telegram was real, but had been incorrectly dated.
The Liberty Times said the telegram was sent by TETO in Jakarta on Dec. 20, 2016.
It cited an unnamed source involved with foreign affairs as saying that although they did not know why the year on the document was incorrect, the nation’s overseas missions are “administratively neutral platforms.”
Overseas offices should not be punished for “telling the truth and presenting analysis” based on the nation’s overall bargaining chips and diplomatic benefits, the source was cited as saying.
Wang called on the foreign ministry to respond formally to the allegations the KMT raised on Monday.
Meanwhile, Lo said that if Su Jia-chyuan wanted to sue somebody he should sue the foreign ministry, since he and other KMT members had only quoted material from the telegram.
Additional reporting by Sherry Hsiao and Su Yung-yao
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