Ma de­clines Kao’s res­ig­na­tion of­fer

De­fense Min­is­ter Kao of­fers to step down over Apache photo scan­dal

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Na­tional De­fense Min­is­ter Kao Kuang-chi ( ) of­fered to re­sign amid the un­fold­ing Apache scan­dal yes­ter­day, but was re­tained by Pres­i­dent Ma Ying­jeou.

Ac­cord­ing to Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice spokesman Charles Chen (

), Ma re­tained Kao in or­der to show his pri­or­ity is on con­sol­i­dat­ing dis­ci­pline in the armed forces and main­tain­ing morale and com­bat readi­ness.

The re­cent spate of dis­ci­plinary pun­ish­ments of of­fi­cers im­pli­cated in the scan­dal — in which for­eign na­tion­als and civil­ians were granted unau­tho­rized ac­cess to sen­si­tive mil­i­tary equip­ment by an R.O.C. Army of­fi­cer — con­tin­ued yes­ter­day as the pres­i­dent and the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense (MND) dis­ci­plined higher-rank­ing of­fi­cers within the mil­i­tary hi­er­ar­chy.

Ma Briefed on Con­sol­i­dat­ing

Mil­i­tary Dis­ci­pline

Ear­lier in the day, Army Spe­cial Forces Lt. Gen. Chen Chient­sai ( ) was re­moved from his post and trans­ferred to the Army Cen­tral Com­mand.

Later in the af­ter­noon, seven ac­tive-duty gen­er­als ar­rived at the Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice to brief Ma on cur­rent ef­forts be­ing made to main­tain and im­prove the cur­rent state of mil­i­tary dis­ci­pline. Af­ter the brief­ing, the Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice an­nounced new dis­ci­plinary ac­tions against Army Com­man­der ( ) Chiu Kuocheng ( ) with two de­mer­its, and one de­merit for Chief of Gen­eral Staff, Gen. Yen Teh-fa ( ). Both of­fi­cers’ de­mer­its were is­sued in re­gard to “un­sat­is­fac­tory over­sight.”

Army to Reeval­u­ate

Pen­sion Poli­cies

Fol­low­ing the mul­ti­ple ma­jor de­mer­its is­sued to Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng ( ) for his role in the Apache scan­dal, mem­bers of the mil­i­tary en­tourage brief­ing the pres­i­dent also an­nounced pro­posed changes to Army pen­sion poli­cies. Un­der cur­rent mil­i­tary reg­u­la­tions, Lao is still en­ti­tled to re­ceive a re­tire­ment pen­sion (es­ti­mated at NT$2 mil­lion)

Un­der the pro­posed changes, of­fi­cers who ac­crue two ma­jor de­mer­its will see a re­duc­tion to their re­tire­ment pen­sions. Of­fi­cers with de­mer­its still serv­ing in the mil­i­tary would also need to re­fund the gov­ern­ment for the mil­i­tary train­ing funded by the state.

‘Villa 32’ Il­le­gal Im­prove­ments Cited

Mean­while, “Villa 32” (

) , a Beitou- based re­sort run by the fam­ily of Lao’s wife Chiu Ya- ching ( ) , has been cited by Taipei of­fi­cials for il­le­gally added im­prove­ments. The re­sort, which has been re­ported for il­le­gal im­prove­ments since 2011 for first-, sec­on­dand third- story vi­o­la­tions, avoided be­ing dis­man­tled af­ter a deal was bro­kered with city coun­cilors.

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wenje ( ) threat­ened to dis­man­tle the re­sort if the nec­es­sary changes were not made. The Taipei City Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment Of­fice ( ) stated that the op­er­a­tors have 20 days to com­ply with ex­ist­ing build­ing codes.

In ad­di­tion to the il­le­gal de­vel­op­ments, city of­fi­cials are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that “Villa 32” own­ers vi­o­lated reg­u­la­tions with re­gard to the use of hot spring wa­ter as stip­u­lated in the “Hot Springs Act” (

) passed in 2003. Us­age of hot spring-sourced wa­ter with­out a per­mit is sub­ject to fines rang­ing from NT$50,000-250,000. The city will is­sue its find­ings later to­day.

CNA

A mil­i­tary en­tourage led by seven ac­tive-duty gen­er­als ar­rives at the Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice, yes­ter­day. Mil­i­tary of­fi­cials briefed Pres­i­dent Ma Ying­jeou on changes to im­prove mil­i­tary dis­ci­pline fol­low­ing the re­cent Apache he­li­copter scan­dal. The pres­i­dent an­nounced he would re­tain De­fense Min­is­ter Kao Kuang-chi ( ) af­ter he of­fered to re­sign yes­ter­day.

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