By Ann Maxon / Staff reporter
Former Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou （郭台銘） yesterday said he heard rumors that Want Want China Times Group chairman Tsai Eng-meng （蔡衍明） could become Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） chairman if Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu （韓國瑜） wins next year’s presidential election.
As KMT chairman, Tsai could talk directly with China’s Taiwan Affairs’ Office and the Chinese Communist Party would be able to “annex the Republic of China” without sending any troops, said Gou, who is one of five men vying for the KMT presidential nomination, along with Han, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu （朱立倫）, former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei （周錫瑋） and Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung （張亞中）.
The idea might be far-fetched, but “do not think it would be impossible,” Gou told reporters in Taoyuan.
If Tsai does become head of the KMT, “who knows how many benefits he could reap from Beijing?” Gou said.
Han should “stay away from CtiTV News” — a TV network under Want Want Group that is seen as pro-Han — as behind-the-scenes manipulations in the media are “abnormal,” the tycoon said.
Taiwan’s future should not be destroyed by a owner of a media outlet, he said.
Gou’s comments came amid reports that the KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday had agreed to push for the removal of a clause in the KMT charter that requires the president, if a KMT member, to double as the party’s chairperson.
Asked to comment on the reports, Gou said he had not known the idea had been discussed at Wednesday’s meeting as he does not have a good relationship with the KMT’s headquarters.
Hopefully, the committee would start to include more members from the younger generation, so that the KMT could better reach young people and win the election, he said.
Asked about reports that a committee member had found leaked data from the KMT’s presidential primary poll, Gou said: “Everyone has questions about whether the poll is fair.”
Although he has done everything right, recent polls showed support for Han suddenly spiking by 7 percent, while President Tsai Ing-wen’s （蔡英文） support keeps declining, Gou said.
The president’s supporters could be deliberately voting for Han in the telephone polls to prevent Gou from representing the KMT, which raises doubts about the accuracy of the poll, the tycoon said.
Meanwhile, Chu told reporters in Taipei that whether a KMT president should double as party chair should be discussed after the primary finishes.
“My suggestion is that discussion on the matter should be set aside until next week. After all, the primary is still going on and it would be better to avoid creating any emotions that could affect it,” he said.
Asked about the alleged leak of polling data, Chu said it appeared to be a report about the poll written by one of the candidates’ observers at the polling center.
While he does not know who might have leaked such information, he is sure it was not someone from his team, Chu said.
“I hope there will be no more leaks, since such reports only cover a few interview calls and do not accurately reflect the poll results,” he said.
Since every candidate taking part in the primary agreed to the polling method, no attempts to affect or undermine the polls should be tolerated, he said.
“The primary rules have been changed 16 times over the past six months, but I accepted all that and my attitude will remain unchanged,” he said.
He would respect the results regardless of the outcome, Chu said.
KMT members must work together to ensure the party’s victory, he added.
Former Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou speaks to reporters yesterday outside a temple in Taoyuan. Photo: Hsieh Wu-hsiung, Taipei Times