Two former envoys to the Philippines and Thailand have faced disciplinary actions after accusations of sexual harassment against them were found to be credible, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.

Michael Hsu, the former envoy to Philippines, was given a “major demerit,” after the MOFA sexual harassment complaint review committee found the allegations of him sexually harassing a Filipino female secretary to be credible, said the spokesperson Jeff Liu.

The sexual harassment allegedly occurred in 2022 during Hsu’s tenure in Manila, at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines. It was exposed by a whistleblower who published a post on a Taiwanese forum in April, accusing Hsu of forcibly undressing and touching his secretary inappropriately.

According to MOFA, Hsu has served the office since June 2018 but he was recalled back to Taiwan abruptly, after the ministry learned about the allegations against him in April this year.

Another envoy surnamed Huang was also given a “demerit”, after the MOFA sexual harassment review committee found the allegations of him making sexual advances and sending unsolicited swimsuit photos to a female coworker as credible, said Liu.

Huang has already resigned from his role in MOFA after being penalized, he added.

Chuang Suo-hang, who served as the former envoy to Thailand from June 2022 to June 2023, also faced similar allegations of sexual misconduct, after being accused by his female secretary of holding her hands without consent during a business trip.

Moreover, he was reportedly making unwanted advances to the secretary, such as inviting her to a hotel room during the trip, according to the local media reports.

The MOFA sexual harassment complaint review committee has found the case to be credible but could not penalize him directly because he was a “political appointee” rather than a “career diplomat,” Liu explained.

His proven harassment case will be referred to the Control Yuan, which is responsible for investigating and censuring illegal or negligent acts by public servants or agencies, to determine Chang's punishment, he added.

Being a career diplomat, Hsu's year-end bonuses will be affected by being given a "demerit." Hsu’s position has been filled by Wallace Chow, former head of MOFA's Department of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, while Chuang's vacancy has been filled by Taiwan's ex-representative to Myanmar Chang Chun-fu.

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TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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