Taipei DPP mayoral candidate slams ex-President’s accusations

Allegations go back to 2005 KMT media sell-off

Former government spokesman Yao Wen-chih.

Former government spokesman Yao Wen-chih. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Democratic Progressive Party candidate for mayor of Taipei City, Yao Wen-chih (姚文智), slammed former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for accusing him of threatening potential buyers of Kuomintang (KMT) media companies more than a decade ago.

The incident dates back to 2005, when Ma chaired the opposition KMT and Yao served as government spokesman. The KMT at the time sold off its television company China Television (CTV), radio company Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) and its movie group Central Motion Pictures Corporation (CMPC) at a reported loss of NT$7.3 billion (US$236 million).

Ma appeared in court Wednesday in the resulting breach of trust case and accused Yao of threatening the China Times media group at the time not to buy the companies from the KMT.

Yao reacted Thursday by completely denying Ma’s allegations and accusing the former president of trying to sell out KMT assets outside the public view. Yao said he had issued a statement at the time to remind potential buyers that the KMT controlled questionable assets which might have to be returned to the public eventually.

The DPP ruled from 2000 to 2008, but had no absolute majority at the Legislative Yuan at the time, making it impossible to launch a review of assets allegedly illegally obtained by the KMT, Yao said. As Ma left office in 2016, the DPP gained that absolute majority and went on to set up the Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee to review decades of alleged financial irregularities involving KMT control of public assets.