Shih goes unpunished in Singapore row

Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih, formerly Taiwan's top envoy to Singapore, went unpunished after the release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) investigative report, which had been requested by the Control Yuan.

The Control Yuan had previously accused several MOFA officials, including Shih, of being "negligent" in their duties while serving in the city-state and allegedly causing a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Five MOFA officials were given administrative punishment for refusing to cooperate with the Control Yuan investigation, according to a Chinese-language report yesterday.

Among those being punished include former division chief at the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore Chang Shih-jui (???) and director-general of MOFA's Department of East Asian Affairs James Tien (???), the report said.

Shih, however, who was charged by Control Yuan members with "serious dereliction of duty" during her three-year tenure as representative to Singapore, was not punished by MOFA, the report said.

The Foreign Ministry found no major errors made by Shih during her tenure as Taiwan's top envoy to Singapore from January 2009 to February 2012. Instead, Shih worked very hard to fulfil her duties in line with the government's diplomatic policy and has contributed a great deal to bilateral cooperation with Singapore on various fronts, said the report.

The MOFA's latest investigative report was made at the behest of the government watchdog agency.

Earlier last month, the Control Yuan compiled an eight-page report which charged Shih and other MOFA officials with "dereliction of duty" over a case in which staff from the Taiwan's representative office in Singapore were absent from events related to the centennial commemoration of the Hsinhai Revolution.

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