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Ma turns down Academia Sinica chief resignation

Ma turns down Academia Sinica chief resignation

Ma turns down Academia Sinica chief resignation

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Ma Ying-jeou has turned down a request by Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey to resign following a scandal surrounding a biotechnology stock deal, the Presidential Office said Wednesday.
Wong’s daughter, painter Wong Yu-shioh, is being investigated for insider trading over the sale of shares in OBI Pharma, Inc. before the company announced the failure of test trials for a new cancer drug. Since the shares were reportedly donated by her parents, they are also facing allegations of tax evasion. The high-profile case has attracted accusations of improper behavior by the head of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s most prestigious academic organization.
The top academic phoned the president from the United States Tuesday evening to offer his resignation for health reasons, but Ma refused and asked Wong to return to Taiwan and explain the situation in order to safeguard the Academia’s reputation, said presidential spokesman Charles Chen. He apparently sent a fax with another resignation letter Wednesday morning.
The Legislative Yuan has reportedly scheduled a hearing of its Education and Culture Committee to hear Wong Thursday afternoon. However, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported Wednesday that since he had already tendered his resignation, Wong felt he no longer needed to appear at the Legislature and had therefore asked a deputy to replace him.
Kuomintang lawmaker Apollo Chen later said that Wong had been hospitalized, and that his doctors advised against a long flight to Taiwan due to his health condition.
In addition to the failed trials and the Wong scandal, OBI Pharma earlier was also found to have a brother of President-elect Tsai Ing-wen as one of its major shareholders.