Fired for knowing too much: ex-deputy minister

Fired for knowing too much: ex-deputy minister
Chang Hsien-yao.

BEIJING - In a television interview following his "forced" resignation, Former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao yesterday said that he has prepared a suicide letter as he felt he was fired for "knowing too much." After the Cabinet announced the news of his resignation - allegedly due to family reasons - last Saturday, Chang later stated that he had in fact been "forced" to step down. The statement snowballed into an argument between the Executive Yuan and Chang as the Cabinet rejected speculations that Chang was replaced last week because of a conflict with Minister Wang Yu-chi.

At a news conference, Wu said that Chang had stepped down pending an "administrative investigation" into matters "related to his work." On Monday, Chang released a new statement, saying that he has always upheld the interests of the nation as a public servant, and he adhered strictly to the instructions of the president, the secretary-general of the National Security Council and his immediate supervisor, the minister of the MAC, during his tenure as deputy minister.

Chang was replaced yesterday by Lin Chu-chia, another MAC deputy minister.

When he was being interviewed by former Cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen on her talk show yesterday, Chang appeared agitated and was in tears when he said that he "had not let down the country and the President."

"I am grateful to the president, but Mr. President, the message you received (about myself) is far from the truth," said Chang, who added that he has included relevant issues in his suicide letter and handed it to his attorney. "I am ready."

Cheng was alarmed by Chang's silence that followed, asking nervously if Chang is in fact considering committing suicide.

Like Being Chased by the Mafia: Chang

"There are too many things I know; I don't feel right about this ... there have been suggestions about my straightforward advice and things I oppose, all of which may have offended some people. Being chased down like the mafia does its traitors, I feel bitterly disappointed," said Chang.

The former deputy minister stressed that both President Ma Ying-jeou and Wang knew about his every move and decision. "I have not done anything illegal."

According to Chang, Wang had summoned him due to "urgent matters" last Wednesday, but he was back in Taichung visiting his family. The next day, Wang met with Chang and notified him that the MAC was letting him go, saying that he had let slip classified information and was under investigation. "No one would believe that one is let go because of revealing classified information, but I will leave because I am asked to," Chang had said, also asking if the president was notified of the MAC's decision. "Ma does not know, and this is not his business," Wang replied.

Chang stated that he did not know what classified information he had accidentally let slip; the only reason he could think of behind his predicament is that he "knew too much."

"What can I do if they want to pin this on me? What will the world, China and Taiwan think of me when I am accused of this when dealing with cross-strait issues?" demanded Chang. "I have always been on good terms with Wang, and this is not about money either."

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