Uncover the Truth behind the TaiMed Corruption Scandal
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 8, 2012
Summary: During the election, the TaiMed corruption scandal underwent a number of dramatic ups and downs. The full picture remains murky. But the case concerns cabinet discipline and possible official misconduct. Therefore it must be pursued until the truth is uncovered. The public must be given a proper accounting.
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During the election, the TaiMed corruption scandal underwent a number of dramatic ups and downs. The full picture remains murky. But the case concerns cabinet discipline and possible official misconduct. Therefore it must be pursued until the truth is uncovered. The public must be given a proper accounting.
The scandal be divided into two parts. One. The Special Investigation Unit began investigating the TaiMed corruption scandal during the presidential campaign. The Special Investigation Unit opened the case and began gathering evidence. This was the correct approach. Had it failed to do so, had it delayed until after the election, it would surely be accused of "waiting to settle accounts." But since it already began its investigation, it merely underscores the need to offer the public a proper accounting.
Investigators may conclude that Tsai Ing-wen, Ho Mei-yueh, and others were not guilty of illegal conduct. But the investigation report must explain why the cabinet engaged in such questionable conduct. Therefore, even if the Special Investigation Unit eventually announces that it has chosen not to indict, it is nevertheless duty bound to investigate.
Two. The scandal involves both the Su Tseng-chang cabinet and the Chang Chun-hsiung cabinet. The cabinet members under suspicion should voluntarily come forward and offer frank accounts of their actions to the Special Investigation Unit. Tsai Ing-wen and Ho Mei-yueh insist they did nothing illegal. They insist that the scandal is not even a scandal. Since that is their story, they should offer the public a proper accounting, in accordance with the relevant legal statutes and administrative procedures. After all, this is hardly a routine matter. The public has a right to know. How can a corruption scandal as unthinkable as TaiMed possibly be passed off as "legal?" If more incidents like this occur in the future. will they too be passed off as "legal?"
We should harbor no preconceptions about whether the TaiMed corruption scandal is illegal. This was the consensus during the presidential campaign. That said, it is nevertheless a major scandal. It reveals that the cabinet was engaged in highly questionable conduct. Therefore the Special Investigation Unit must conduct a fair and impartial investigation. The parties under suspicion, including Tsai Ing-wen and Ho Mei-yueh, must come clean. They must present a full picture of the TaiMed corruption scandal. They should use the occasion to clarify the line between cabinet operations and the nation's laws. If they refuse, then the conduct of the cabinet will remain nothing more than black ops.
The TaiMed corruption scandal remains shrouded in mystery. For example, why did TaiMed win out against Nanhua? Was the contract in fact awarded by a secret three man coterie? The company name "TaiMed" appeared for the first time during the second secret contract meeting. The budget for the project was substantially increased. Yet it was never submitted to Premier Su Tseng-chang for approval. Was this actually in compliance with cabinet regulations? Tsai Ing-wen approved the TaiMed case herself. Soon after, she was made chairman of the TaiMed Company. Was the Tsai Ing-wen who approved TaiMed, the same legal entity who assumed the chairmanship of TaiMed? If she was not, then why was the project funded by the cabinet? If she was, then can Vice Premier Tsai explain why she disbursed government funds to TaiMed Chairman Tsai? Tsai later established the TaiMed biotech venture capital firm. She proposed that TaiMed establish a TaiMed biotechnology venture capital investment and management company. She arranged for the National Development Fund to invest billions, in advance, and to her company a 10 year, 1.32 billion dollar management fee, also in advance. Were Premier Su Tseng-chang and Premier Chang Chun-hsiung really unaware of the connection between the TaiMed biotechnology venture capital firm and TaiMed? Every one of these points is highly suspicious. The behavior of the suspects, including Tsai Ing-wen, Ho Mei-yueh, and David Ho, is equally suspicious. This is hardly an "attack upon the biotech industry." Concern for cabinet regulations hardly qualifies as an attack on the biotech industry.
Suspects in the TaiMed corruption scandal must clear up these questions. A nation's cabinet must not be permitted to evade prosecution merely by muddying the waters. The relevant legal norms are one thing. It is possible that everything was "legal." But the conduct of the cabinet is another matter altogether. No one believes such behavior can be tolerated by a nation's cabinet. Therefore the Special Investigation Unit, Tsai Ing-wen, Ho Mei-yueh, and other parties, must clear the air. Otherwise, the cabinet will be nothing more than a black ops organization.
We hope the Special Investigation Unit will take responsibility. It must provide the public with a truthful picture of its investigation results. Even if it chooses not to indict, it must make public its legal reasoning, and allow the public to evaluate what it did.
We hope Tsai Ing-wen will change her attitude. She refused to take responsibility for her conduct during the presidential campaign. She refused to voluntarily explain her conduct to the people. She should seize the initiative, preferably before being formally summoned by the Special Investigation Unit. She should avoid making allegations that the investigation is being conducted in secrecy, or that she is being "legally persecuted." Tsai Ing-wen appears ready to make another bid for the presidency in 2016. She should avoid repeating the history of the Chen corruption case. She should avoid burdening the general election with endless wrangling over judicial proceedings.