Cul­ture min­is­ter ten­ders his res­ig­na­tion in grant scan­dal

Hung Meng-chi’s res­ig­na­tion at­tempt re­buffed by premier

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRIS­TINE CHOU

The head of the Min­istry of Cul­ture ( MOC, ) , Hung Meng-chi ( ), ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion yesterday to the Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan ( ) over con­tro­versy sur­round­ing gov­ern­ment grants.

“I must said Hung.

Yesterday evening, Premier Mao Chi-kuo ( ) re­jected Hung’s of­fer and urged him to re­scind his res­ig­na­tion by phone. Hung has not yet re­sponded as to whether he will see through his plans to re­sign, ac­cord­ing to an Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan spokesman. Ac­cord­ing to a Next Mag­a­zine

) re­port is­sued yesterday,

(

take

re­spon­si­bil­ity,” in or­der to suc­cess­fully pass its bud­get, the MOC pro­posed to di­rectly al­lo­cate grants to Kuom­intang ( KMT) leg­is­la­tors on the Ed­u­ca­tion and Cul­ture Com­mit­tee (ECC, )— NT$2.5 mil­lion each.

“This event was made- up. But the ar­ti­cle has dam­aged the im­age of the MOC. I must take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the MOC, and to (my) su­pe­ri­ors,” said Hung, as he an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion at a press con­fer­ence yesterday af­ter­noon.

Hung stated that the re­porters had learned the in­for­ma­tion from an item on the agenda that was not in­cluded in the MOC’s of­fi­cial meet­ing records. Hung judged it to be un­fea­si­ble, and the proposi- tion was quickly re­jected, said Hung, “It is re­gret­table that the in­for­ma­tion was leaked and the is­sue was in­flated.”

Hung stressed that he has al­ways in­sisted on ad­min­is­tra­tive im­par­tial­ity, es­pe­cially in cul­tural af­fairs. He said that he be­lieves the po­si­tion should not be em­broiled in po­lit­i­cal dis­putes. Af­ter his res­ig­na­tion, Hung said he will as­sist his suc­ces­sor in promptly tak­ing over oper­a­tions.

Ques­tions Unan­swered

Ac­cord­ing to CNA, Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) Leg­is­la­tor Chen Ting-fei ( ) voiced her con­cerns: “Who pro­posed this grant ar­range­ment?” Chen deemed the leak­ing of of­fi­cial doc­u­ments a se­ri­ous is­sue, and she ques­tioned whether it had to do with an in­ter­nal con­flict.

“It is nec­es­sary for Hung to clearly ad­dress these ques­tions. He must leave no stone un­turned be­fore leav­ing, or else this is ev­i­dently a po­lit­i­cal move to ‘stop the bleed­ing.’ The DPP will in­ves­ti­gate this to the end,” said Chen. KMT cau­cus whip, Lin Te-fu (

), also re­marked in an in­ter­view with CNA that the news was false, and he urged Hung make the de­tails clear, so as to pre­vent the DPP from trig­ger­ing po­lit­i­cal mud fights.

Mem­ber of the ECC and KMT leg­is­la­tor, Chen Shu-huey (

), said that to her un­der­stand­ing, the grant pro­posal was com­pletely dis­carded and was not ex­e­cuted. Chen said leg­is­la­tors were not aware ei­ther, and this was a “cam­paign strat­egy.” Hung should have cleared the name of the KMT leg­is­la­tors in­volved be­fore re­sign­ing, said another KMT leg­is­la­tor, Chen Pi-han ( ).

Hung has headed the MOC since the res­ig­na­tion of for­mer min­is­ter Lung Ying-tai ( ) this Jan­uary.

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