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Taiwan president seeks re-election as party chair

Publication Date : 12-07-2012


Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou announced his re-election bid as party chair of the Kuomintang (KMT) at the Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday.

This was a strong response to various requests for him to resign from his role as chairman after the Lin Yi-shih corruption case was first uncovered. Ma explained that for a better relationship between the administration and ruling party, it is best for him to take both responsibilities.

Lin's bribery scandal, which has severely rocked the Ma administration, led to an array of anti-corruption seminars and conferences to reiterate the importance of a clean, self-controlled government.

Ministries and government agencies were requested to inspect their internal controls and look for behaviour suggesting corruption, while policies to prevent greed were reviewed and intensified.

“The ultimate goal of these anti-corruption measures is for government to provide higher quality services for the people,” Ma said. It is not enough for anti-corruption agencies and commissions to stay alert, but the cooperation of local government and ministries is important as well, he said. Ma concluded that the key to a clean, ethical government was a public servant's integrity, and not strict laws.

Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu reported at the Central Standing Committee meeting practical measures that will be put into place to tackle the corruption issue.

He proposed that companies where the government has a certain amount of stock control should report recent business deals, provide records of lobbying activities, and hold a meeting every two months at both the local and the national levels to investigate possible cases of bribery. Meanwhile, ministry-level officials and anti-corruption agencies will form a tight network to serve as watchdogs over each sector, he said.

In addition, the protection of witnesses will be enhanced to encourage reports of corruption. Chen Chi-hsiang's “hide-and-seek” actions after exposing Lin clearly exemplified the lack of protection applied to witnesses, Justice Minister Tseng said. He noted that protection laws for exposing corruption will soon be drafted.

Ma emphasised the importance of each sector's leaders in holding meetings every two months to review possible bribery cases. He noted that a leader's attitude in fighting corruption was extremely significant.

In response to his dual responsibilities as party chair and as president, Ma said that he will make every effort to lead the party out of the corruption crisis.

"We cannot afford to be against each other at this critical moment. We need to work closely with each other to ensure a trustworthy government.” He encouraged members to remain undefeated through the crisis and said that he will accept all suggestions in producing better performance.

Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng expressed his support for President Ma Ying-jeou's bid for party chair re-election. He stated that Ma already informally announced the news two months ago, and he fully supports the president's bid.

KMT Central Policy Committee Director Lin Hung-chih also stated that Ma's choice was appropriate considering the KMT was the ruling party and should have strong connections with the administration.

He added that Ma's dual roles will help push for better policies in the future.


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