Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Smear swells: KMT goes after Tsai on TaiMed =UPDATED X3= with bonus KMT Oops

Lots of updates and additions here -- thanks everyone for the pointers!

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....
● 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).
Yeah..... 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*

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.
Bet this sinks this smear....Liu had to apologize. One suspects she will be stepping down soon.

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.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Grant said...

I think the KMT are going to get hit hard by this. This will hopefully show to the Taiwan public who is smearing now?

kungwan said...


Ptt 'lazy package', compiled by netizens, of Chiu Yi's attacks rebutted by biotech heavyweights.

Michael Turton said...

Kungwan, thanks!!!!

Ace said...

Hi Michael-

Tsai's official website probably has the most details information (including Tsai's investments, money flows, etc.). Chinese only though.

Anonymous said...

The KMT are going after this with all guns blazing:
Fat bastard Lin Yi-shih smells blood in the water.

Anonymous said...

The strategy seems to be more casting seeds of doubt, a frequent KMT tactic, plus keeping Tsai off balance by requiring her to defend herself from now until the election.

Well, it's dirty, but politics is always that way. It's a profession mostly designed for scoundrels.

Taiwan Echo said...

Premiem Wu Den-yih (吳敦義)'s wife, Tsai Lingyi (蔡令怡), told audience in one campaign trip that Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) "moved" 1,100,000,000 (~ 35,000,000 US$) of gov money into her family-owned company:


Although I read almost every piece of news regarding the recent Yu-Chang conspiracy, I don't recall hearing any where that amount of money is mentioned, let alone a story like that.

Thinking about that she could be Taiwan's vice president's wife ......

Anonymous said...

What Tsai's people need to do is to turn this back on Ma and the KMT. They need to stay above this and then rebuke the KMT for the type of bickering and dirty politics that have been a turn off to voters.

They should tell the KMT that the DPP would like to stick to arguing about policy and how it impacts ordinary Taiwanese lives (add list of Ma's domestic failures and DPP talking points).

Ma and his camp have been their own wort enemy.

Ma, sensing domestic weakness, thought he would take the initiative and attack on China policy, his "strong suit". He failed to understand how Taiwanese people feel about China and hurt himself badly.

Seeing a drop in the polls, Ma's team tried to smear Tsai with the attack on the piggy banks. It only raised awareness to the cleavage between the have's and have nots.

Now, seriously struggling, they attempt to cast doubts over Tsai's integrity and link her to the "corruption" of Chen Shui-bian's era. They falsify documents, hoping the truth will not be discovered until it is too late and the waters are too muddy. Instead, they demonstrate why Tsai is such a formidable leader. She his savy, a tough negotiator, and her prime focus is for the betterment of Taiwan. SHe puts her money where here mouth is and did a great service to her country by snaring a valuable contract in a burgeoning industry... that is NOT in the loose change niche of tourism.

Keep going Ma.