Taiwan's secretary-general to president resigns amid bribery linked to family

Secretary-General to President Su Jia-chuan said he wishes to bring no more trouble to President Tsai Ing-wen

Secretary-General to the President Su Jia-chyuan

Secretary-General to the President Su Jia-chyuan (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Secretary-General to the President Su Jia-chuan (蘇嘉全) tendered his resignation on Sunday (August 2) as his nephew Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator, faces charges of corruption.

Through a statement released via Facebook on Sunday, Su announced that he would step down from the current post, effective immediately, in order to “bring no more trouble to President Tsai [Ing-wen]” and to allow the probes into Su Chen-ching as well as five other incumbent and former legislators to be carried out smoothly.

The Presidential Office later confirmed Su’s departure, citing personal reasons. President Tsai respected and approved Su’s resignation, said the Presidential Office, adding that his position will be filled temporarily by Deputy Secretary-General Jason Liu (劉建忻).

Su Chen-ching and the other five politicians have been accused of taking bribes from Lee Heng-long (李恆隆), former chair of Pacific Distribution, which used to be the parent company of Pacific Sogo Department Store, and Lee's ultimate goal is said to be regaining his ownership of the department store chain. The suspects, who face charges of corruption including taking tens of millions of NT in bribes, have been detained and held incommunicado over concerns related to the possibility of escape, destruction of evidence, and collusion with co-conspirators.

In addition to the bribery scandal linked to his nephew, Su has also been accused of misusing his previous position — legislative speaker — for private gains a few years ago. He has since denied any wrongdoing, describing the accusations as blackmail and slander.

Su said that having worked in politics for more than three decades, he prides himself on his honesty. “My wife and I have never been investigated or prosecuted for acts of corruption,” he said, stressing that he would guard his reputation with his life.

Su, 64, had been a DPP legislator and legislative speaker before being named the secretary-general to the president in May. He was elected twice as the Pingtung County magistrate and his family, including Su Chen-ching and his wife Hung Heng-chu (洪恒珠), are also influential politicians in the southern region of Taiwan.