The China Post
By Grace Soong–Democratic Progressive Party spokespersons Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) and Kang Yu-cheng (康裕成) yesterday sued President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Wu Den-yih for illegally disclosing secrets and benefiting director Stan Lai (賴聲川) over the National Day musical.
According to Chuang, that Ma and Wu had claimed to be uninformed about the exorbitant production cost of the National Day musical “Dreamers” (夢想家) was ridiculous, since budgeting for all National Day-related events had been planned by the government early on; the Presidential Office should give a detailed account of the situation to the public, he requested.
Final bidding for “Dreamers” was scheduled in December 2010, but former Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA, 文化局) Minister Sheng Chih-jen (盛治仁) had reported to Ma and Wu that Lai would be the director of the show as early as Oct. 13, at the Kuomintang (KMT) Central Standing Committee (CSC), Chuang said.
In addition to privately setting up the case for Lai, it could be suspected that the show’s performance and production staff was also privately appointed, Chuang speculated, and although public bidding for the show was scheduled on April 20, the Taiwan Association of Theater Technology (TATT, 台灣技術劇場協會) was certain that it would win the bid as of March 21.
From all these evidence, it is clear that some secrets have been leaked during the process, with Lai being the receiver of the illegal benefits, Chuang concluded. The DPP has already sued Sheng, he said, and the charges of illegally benefiting others and leaking non-defense-related secrets against Ma and Wu would be under the same case. He also urged the Taipei Prosecutor’s Office to summon Taiwanese politician and TV commentator Sisy Chen (陳文茜) to testify, as she had asserted on television that it was Ma and Wu, rather than Sheng, who were the ultimate decision makers behind all budgets for all National Day activities. DPP Accusations Stand Against the Facts: KMT KMT spokesperson Lai Su-ju (賴素如) refuted the DPP’s accusations yesterday, claiming that Lai did bid according to policies, and the bid was confirmed and contracts were signed as early as in 2009, long before Sheng stepped up as minister of the CCA. Lai Su-ju requested that the DPP explain how Ma and Wu had been behind the deal and how they had illegally benefited Stanley Lai.
Stanley Lai had legally begun preparing for the show one year before Sheng had briefed Ma and Wu during the KMT CSC, Lai Su-ju said, pointing out that the DPP had made up the untruthful accusations despite being aware of the facts. She urged that the DPP should return to polishing up their policies and provide the Taiwanese people with solid options, rather than continuing the smear campaign.