Pan Shih-wei’s resignation as Labor Minister has been approved by Premier Jiang Yi-huah just as the Control Yuan released the latest edition of its publication on corruption in government. Some of the figures on Pan’s net worth immediately attracted close attention from observers. In addition to a property in Shanghai listed in 2007, Pan and his wife reported bank deposits worth NT$5.38 million, down slightly from the previous year's figure of NT$5.71 million. At the same time, however, they also reported holding securities worth NT$2.67 million, which when added to the bank deposits is an increase of NT$1.95 million from the previous year.
Pan was forced to step down due to an alleged affair with his personal secretary, but a couple of days ago he revealed that there were other reasons for his decision to vacate the position of Minister of Labor. A spokesman for the Executive Yuan said the yuan could not comment on Pan’s remarks, and Acting Minister of Labor Hao Feng-ming said he did not know any details in the matter and could not respond to queries from the media.
The Control Yuan’s report of Pan’s assets in the latest reporting year showed deposits of NT$5.38 million and NT$2.67 million in securities. The couple also listed 3 properties in the name of Pan’s wife Christine Kuo, including two in Shilin and one in Beitou. In addition, Pan Shih-wei owns a property in Shanghai's Songjiang District that is approximately 53 square meters. He reports that there is a NT$6 million mortgage on the property.
Pan Shih-wei claims that the Shanghai property was purchased before he entered public office, and he is not the only member of the Ma administration to have invested in real estate in China. Control Yuan Wang Chien-hsuan, Minister of Justice Lo Ying-shay and several other officials in the Ma government have also listed properties in China among their assets..
Over the weekend Pan turned to Facebook to vent some of his frustrations over his ouster from the Ministry of Labor. He expressed his outrage over what he called a “really frightful system of cliques within the public system." He went on to claim, "Actually, I was kicked out because I kept others from taking money."
Pan was broad and non-specific in charging that many high-level civil servants know their way around budgets and know how to acquire and hide resources in their own private coffers. He said these officials use their people to develop legitimate-looking programs that appear to be designed for the public but are in fact intended for their own private purposes.
Pan said there is more to come from him and he will gradually have many other things to disclose in the future about his observations on insider trading and other activities. He said it is a tremendous relief to be a private citizen, claiming, “Now I can say anything I want to, the people are the greatest!"
Media reports say that Pan was unhappy that Premier Jiang Yi-huah was unable to meet with him last week and indirectly communicated his approval of Pan’s application to step down as Minister of Labor.
Last Wednesday Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said Pan had phoned the premier to verbally resign and the premier would see him after more pressing matters had been settled. Pan said the premier was in fact having trouble making a decision regarding his resignation adding that "Of course, given all the pressure I was under, I had no choice but to resign."