Come clean if you’re innocent, Ma tells Tsai

The China Post news staff

President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday raised questions over Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s lack of clarification and transparency with the Yu Chang venture, inquiring of his election rival what she has to hide if she is innocent as claimed. Attending a Kuomintang (KMT) legislative campaign rally, Ma pointed out that aside from a comment that she did not do anything illegal, the DPP chairwoman has not offered a sound explanation addressing all the questions surrounding her involvement with the Yu Chang biotech venture, which goes against what a public political figure should stand for.

“Why did Tsai refuse to allow reporters to ask questions during her press conference addressing the issue? If she is innocent and has not broken any laws as she says, she should be all the more forthcoming,” Ma said.

The president pointed out that his wife, sister and uncle-in-law all left their previous occupations when he took office three years ago to prove to the public that his family will not meddle in political affairs. Being mindful of public perception comes with being a government leader, he added.

As a direct parallel, Ma reiterated that there was no evidence whatsoever behind the DPP’s stubborn insistence that he held a closed-door meeting in Chiayi, Sept. 10 with bookie Chen Ying-chu (陳盈助) and received NT$300 million in donations. But when such accusations came about, Ma immediately released his itinerary to prove that he didn’t visit Chiayi on that occasion. It has been 10 days and yet Tsai has not produced any type of documents proving her innocence, he said, asking rhetorically whether a sound presidential candidate should be held at a higher standard than that. During the post-debate press conference Saturday, Tsai accused Ma of orchestrating the Yu Chang probe in a deliberate act of character assassination. Calling the statement ridiculous, the president once again denied ordering prosecutors from the Special Investigation Division to probe the case, stressing that he will never have any sort of involvement in individual judicial cases. The trust of the people is a government’s greatest asset and corruption is the fastest way to corrode that trust, said Ma. According to Ma, the DPP was too scared to erect a Department of Government Ethics (廉政署) during its rule, but Ma created one during his administration; the DPP was unable to streamline the Executive Yuan, but Ma did. The previous administration, Ma said, lost US$30 million trying to turn Papua New Guinea into an ally through corrupt means; the current one has not lost one of the Republic of China’s 23 allied countries, which shows the effectiveness of clean government operations.