DPP lawmakers push former NPM head to quit Beijing post

DPP lawmakers push former NPM head to quit Beijing post

Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) Legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Monday stepped up their pressure on former National Palace Museum (NPM) Director Feng Ming-chu (???) over a controversy surrounding her new position as an adviser to Beijing's Palace Museum.

The lawmakers, including Ho Hsin-chun, Hsu Chih-chieh, Wu Szu-yao, Lee Li-feng and Su Chiao-hui, demanded that the NPM, the Cabinet and the Control Yuan, the government's top watchdog agency, launch an investigation into Feng immediately for allegedly violating Taiwan's revolving door regulations and a ban on travel to China.

Under the Civil Servant Service Act, civil servants are forbidden within three years of their retirement from becoming board directors, supervisors, managers, shareholders or advisers in companies with direct relations to their work.

The legislators also demanded that Feng quit her new post right away and return to Taiwan to face an investigation.

If Feng refuses to return, she should formally immigrate to China and stop receiving a pension in Taiwan as a retired civil servant, they said.

Feng, who only ended her service at the NPM in May, has recently been found to have visited China several times over the past few months and has even became an adviser to Beijing's Palace Museum.

Before leaving the NPM, Feng allegedly approved her own application to shorten the period in which she would be forbidden from traveling to China from three years to three months, according to the legislators.

According to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the
Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, former political appointees and local government heads who plan to travel to China within three years of leaving office are required to obtain prior approval from a screening committee comprised of officials from related government agencies.

The law, however, also contains a provisory clause that allows discretion in shortening or extending the restriction period, based on the nature of the applicant's job.

According to DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi, 58 officials from the former administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, including Feng, and former local government chiefs from his Kuomintang party have abused the clause to shorten the period in which they are forbidden from traveling to China.

Feng has argued that the shortened three-month period is permitted for her since she was not involved in confidential work, and said her appointment at the Palace Museum in Beijing is an honorary one for which she is not paid a salary.

In another similar case, former Investigation Bureau deputy chief Wu Li-chen went to China soon after she retired July 16, 2015, after having her own restriction period shortened to just 34 days, DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang said in a Facebook post late Sunday.

Just two months before her retirement, Wu directed the Investigation Bureau's secretariat office to remove her from the list of officials responsible for confidential duties who are subject to the three-year ban, Tuan said.

As a result, the ban on Wu was lifted Aug. 19, 2015, according to Tuan. (By Liu Kuan-ting, Justin Su and Y.F. Low)

Updated : 2021-03-09 17:44 GMT+08:00