Lots of stuff out there today as the KMT TaiMed smear against DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen revved into higher gear this week. It will be interesting to see how far the foreign media buys into this. Can't wait to see the "balanced" articles.....
The Taipei Times published a chronology of key events in the case....
2007Yeah..... at the top it says "compiled by staff" but at the bottom they give the source: Democratic Progressive Party. That probably explains why all the key details are missing -- the chronology doesn't tell you how much she invested, when she invested, what funding flows she had approval over, how much she made, and other stuff about Tsai Ing-wen's investment. It's a big dollop of nada. Heck, it doesn't even contain information in Tsai's favor, like her announcement on Sept 15, 2007, that she would divest once the project was fully funded. *sigh*
● Jan. 27: Taiwanese scientists hold a meeting in San Francisco and visit Genentech to float the idea of a flagship biotech project with the company
● May 18: Tsai resigns as chairperson of Yu Chang and TMG after being elected DPP chairperson.
● March 27: Tsai sells all her shares in TMG to Ruentex Group (潤泰集團).
Probably not a good idea to get a "Chronology of key events" from the political party they relate to, eh?
The media would be really helpful if it would stop playing he said, she said, and instead carefully followed the money flows. But neither the Taipei Times or the China Post have any helpful information on that score. I'd be tempted to argue that the lack of information on money flows from the KMT suggests that they are favorable to Tsai's arguments, but since the DPP "Chronology of key Events" doesn't appear to have any money information either (at least in the TT version), one could just as well argue that they don't support Tsai. Yet the KMT's claims are completely lacking in numbers -- KMTers keep claiming that Tsai made massive profits, but provide no numbers to support these claims. Surely it would be easy to demonstrate that Tsai made massive profits simply by showing the numbers. The lack of numbers from the KMT side is a strong signal that their case is nonsense.
Longtime knowledgeable and reliable commenter on my blog SY provided the following information:
6. Once the negotiation went through and the business got substantially going, other private capitalists became willing to participate. When Ms. Tsai had achieved her goal (to kick start the venture), she pulled herself out of the project. She was not salarized for her work as CEO. She got her initial investment (NT$220 million) back with NT$10 million (US$333K) as interest payment (which worked out to be about 3.5% annualized; a pretty humble earning, given the fact that the company was doing well and has been since.)I see no reason to doubt SY but I'd like to see corroboration of this in the media. ADDED: Found it in a China Post article from a couple of days ago:
Tsai's family owned 20 percent stake in Yu Chang, but Tsai sold her stake after assuming the DPP leadership in 2008 after raking in profits of over NT$10 million, but lawmakers of the ruling Kuomintang claimed that Tsai received NT$100 million in profits.This is essentially the same information as SY gave. No evidence is given to support the KMTer claims of $100 million in profits. The China Post information in fact refutes these claims -- though they do so with the slanted "raking in profits." Nice try, guys.
TaiMed Biologics financials are online here. TaiMed's home page. You'd think there would be news articles there about Tsai Ing-wen's tenure as Chairman, but again, nada.
The Taipei Times has a more detailed write-up which shows the weaknesses in the KMT case. In the previous post I noted that three years ago, when Tsai was running for Chair of the DPP, the China Times tried to attack her using this case, but had nothing. The TT report shows that the KMT still has nada:
KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) questioned whether Tsai had known she would become chairperson at Yu Chang before she approved the documents, since the second document proved that the idea of the company already existed.In other words, the KMT has zero direct evidence that Tsai directed funds to the firm because she planned to be Chairperson one day. Meaning their case is the usual innuendo.
The fund’s data show that TaiMed held a conference for potential investors on March 31, 2007, and the conference’s report listed Tsai as one of the company’s four key principals.
KMT Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) said Tsai might have broken the “revolving door” clause on officials and private sector work, since a key principal would generally become a company executive or be closely connect to its operation.
FORGERY OR FARK-UP? But even worse... today CEPD head Christina Liu admitted that the March 1 date was incorrect, it should have been August....
On Monday, the CEPD released official documents about investments by its National Development Fund in Yu Chang Biologics Company. The papers purported to show that Tsai was already prominently involved in the Yu Chang project when she was still vice premier in March 2007.Bet this sinks this smear....Liu had to apologize. One suspects she will be stepping down soon.
The Kuomintang accused Tsai of violating conflict-of-interest laws by giving the go-ahead for government investment when allegedly already knowing she would take over as chairwoman of the company.
The date was wrong and should have been August 2007, when Tsai had already left government service, Liu admitted Tuesday afternoon after the DPP threatened to sue her for forgery.
It always amazes me that convicted felon-legislator Chiu Yi is the attack dog on these things, which are invariably shown to be false, and yet the public and media still accord him credibility.
The DPP refutations are also in a Taipei Times report and are pretty damning to the KMT's case, if true. Once the true story -- always more complex than the smears -- is out, it will be clear to the public that Tsai risked her own family's money to do something of benefit for the whole nation -- give it a leg up in the biotech business. That is probably why Tsai continued to climb today in the prediction market. The weakness and sliminess of this negative politicking is not going to play well with the public.
FUN: Scientists and other public figures' rebuttals of Chiu Yi's claims (Comic in Chinese)
REFS: 2007 Taipei Times article on the project. No one seems to find it strange that Tsai would be the Chairman, and Ho Mei-yueh does not need to refute charges of conflict of interest. D'oh. A Sept 2007 article on TaiMed from the IRPMA.
UPDATE 3: TVBS poll dated Dec 10 has Tsai and Ma neck and neck at 39% each. Prediction market had Tsai on the rise again today.
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