Terry Gou pledges NT$5 billion for medical facility in election bid

Presidential hopeful Terry Gou announced on June 13 that he will donate NT$5 billion to the National Taiwan University Cancer Center, adding that he will also establish a medical facility if elected president. (NOWnews)
Presidential hopeful Terry Gou announced on June 13 that he will donate NT$5 billion to the National Taiwan University Cancer Center, adding that he will also establish a medical facility if elected president. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Presidential hopeful Terry Gou (郭台銘) announced on June 13 that he will donate NT$5 billion (US$159 million) to the National Taiwan University Cancer Center, adding that he will also establish a medical facility if elected president.

The Taiwan tycoon made the announcement at a joint press conference with Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), president of NTU, and Cheng Ann-lii (鄭安理), who heads NTU Cancer Center.

Gou, the chairman of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., said he hopes to incorporate immunotherapy, big data, and 5G into the field of cancer treatment studies.

The announcement of the billionaire-turned-politician came after the Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine reported the previous day that Gou had not fulfilled a promise he made earlier to donate medical equipment and funding to the center.

The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential primary contender said he has pledged to support cancer research as two of his loved ones have succumbed to the disease.

Cheng said it’s Yonglin Foundation, a charity co-founded by Guo and his late wife Serena Lin (林淑如) in 2000, offered the center the greatest assistance, adding that Guo proposed the donation last January.

Guo said the donation of NT$5 billion was also a gift to congratulate Kuan’s election as NTU president last January. However, the approval of the donation was delayed for almost a year as the Ministry of the Education refused to approve Kuan’s appointment, citing conflict of interest in the selection process and other possible violations of existing regulations.

Following the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) major defeat in local government elections in November last year, the ministry announced Dec. 24 that it had agreed to appoint Kuan, ending a nearly year-long standoff.

Over the past 10 years, Guo said, he has realized that a project requires a lot of administrative procedures, stressing that he will step up improvements in government efficiency if elected.

The spotlight has been on Gou since he announced his intention to run for president in mid-April.

Apart from Gou, four other people are competing in the KMT’s presidential primary to represent the party in the January 2020 election – former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), former Taipei Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), NTU political science professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).

Public opinion polls will be conducted nationwide July 5-15, the results will be released July 16, and the KMT’s Central Standing Committee will announce the candidate July 17. ●

By Chang Ming-hsuan and Chung Yu-chen