Deputy Culture Minister Fired

Although Minister of Culture Hung Meng-chi tendered his resignation following allegations that the ministry had considered giving “subsidies” to KMT legislators to influence their votes, Premier Mao Chi-kuo asked him to stay on – and ultimately Deputy Minister Vicki Yu-yun Chiu took the fall.

According to an article released by Next Magazine on September 30, reportedly based on government documents leaked to the tabloid, the Ministry of Culture (MOC) proposed providing funds to KMT lawmakers in exchange for passage of the MOC budget. The ministry, which is responsible for promoting the arts and humanities and for managing several museums and cultural institutions, had seen part of its budget frozen in 2014. During an internal meeting, the idea was raised of rewarding KMT legislators with monetary “subsidies” of NT$2.5 million each as part of the effort to unfreeze those budgetary items. Hung denied any wrongdoing, noting that the proposal was immediately dismissed and that no money ever changed hands. The documents were leaked to the press by an MOC official widely believed to have been Vicki Chiu, a former assistant professor and daughter of media mogul Chiu Fu-sheng. Although she denied responsibility for the leak, Chiu offered to resign but then rescinded the offer, prompting Minister Hung to fire her, according to press reports.