TAIPEI–Ruling Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) said Friday that he does not regret picking Wang Ju-hsuan (王如玄) as his running mate but did regret Wang’s handling of the controversy over her real estate investments.
Chu said in an interview he regretted that it took Wang too long to explain her investments in housing units for military dependents and that she did not understand society was looking at the issue based on ethical standards for a vice-presidential candidate rather than from a legal perspective.
Wang said she could not produce the related information soon after the controversy erupted because the investments took place a long time ago, and she also insisted on calculating the purchase and selling prices of each unit in detail, Chu said.
After Wang finally calculated that she made a total of NT$13.8 million (US$420,000) in profit from the military housing unit transactions, she announced her decision to donate the gains.
“I feel it’s unfortunate that it took a bit too long,” Chu said.
As a human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist, Wang has not only won the recognition of the KMT but also the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which hired her as an adviser when it was in power in the past, Chu said.
Wang’s greatest contribution during her time in office as the head of the Council of Labor Affairs was her effort to promote labor pensions, but that contribution has not been seen by the public, he said.
Instead, Wang was deeply hurt by the attacks launched by the DPP in the past few weeks, he said.
Wang did not initially think her investments constituted a problem because she had publicly declared and disclosed all of them, but she did not understand that society was scrutinizing her as a vice presidential candidate, he said.
“As the moral standards held by society become increasingly higher, things that happened 10 years ago and even 20 years ago before a person entered politics are subject to scrutiny,” he said.