Liu fights on with TaiMed attacks

The China Post news staff

A top economics official yesterday continued to question opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen’s role in the TaiMed controversy, asking why she was allowed to take the chairman post of the biomedical firm despite knowing little about the industry. Christina Liu, minister of the Council of Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), earlier last week already noted that Tsai’s family only owned a minor share of the government-invested TaiMed, but was allowed to take control of the company. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairwoman Friday replied by noting that the chairman of a company does not necessarily have the majority stake.

Tsai, who is running in the presidential election, cited Morris Chang, chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) — the world’s biggest contract chip maker — as an example. The DPP also said Liu lacked “common sense” concerning the business world. Liu yesterday said she understands the corporate law governing the election of company chairmen. But she said the TSMC case cannot be cited to justify Tsai’s control of TaiMed.

Chang is an expert in the semiconductor industry, while Tsai knew very little about the biomedical industry when elected to the TaiMed post, the CEPD minister noted. The government approved investment by the National Development Fund (NDF) into the TaiMed project while Tsai was vice premier in 2007. After stepping down from the vice premiership, Tsai’s family invested in the biomedical company and she became its chairwoman. Liu claimed that TaiMed in August 2007 promised to give the NDF three seats on its board of directors and one on the board of supervisors. But when Tsai was elected chairwoman in September 2007, the NDF obtained only one seat on both boards. Meanwhile, the DPP filed another lawsuit against Liu and Lai Shu-ju, spokesperson of the ruling Kuomintang, accusing them of spreading false news with an intention to undermine Tsai’s presidential election campaign. The DPP earlier this month already sued Liu for the same reason after the CEPD minister released a misdated document to back up her TaiMed allegations against Tsai. The DPP accused Lai of citing false data and running false advertisements against Tsai.