Friday, June 29, 2012

Lin Yi-shih sues over corruption claims

NEW PHOTOS::While the Cabinet secretary-general reiterated that he was innocent, he changed his statement about meeting businessman Chen Chi-hsiang only once
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Fri, Jun 29, 2012 - Page 1

Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世) yesterday filed a lawsuit against a magazine and a businessman who accused him of accepting a bribe in exchange for helping him with a procurement contract.

Lin was accused of accepting NT$63 million (US$2.15 million) from Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司) after allegedly helping it secure procurement contracts with state-run China Steel Corp (中鋼) and two of its subsidiary companies in 2010, and of asking for NT$83 million again this year from Ti Yung.

Majority against easing ban on additive: survey

By Loa Iok-sin and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Fri, Jun 29, 2012 - Page 1

More than 70 percent of the public are opposed to easing a ban on imports of beef containing ractopamine, People First Party legislative caucus whip Thomas Lee (李桐豪) said yesterday, citing an opinion poll, and he accused the government of lying in its arguments for easing the ban.

As the majority of the public are against easing the ban, “the Legislative Yuan, as a representative of public opinion, should respect that opinion,” Lee said.

Citing an opinion poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday, with more than 1,000 valid samples collected from citizens over 20 years of age, Lee said that as many as 72.5 percent of respondents are against lifting the ban.

Lawmaker urges legislature to move

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) yesterday brought up the decade-old issue of relocating the Legislative Yuan, urging the legislature to carry out the move as soon as possible.

The legislature should be relocated to the site that previously housed the Ministry of National Defense’s Air Force Command Headquarters, which has been relocated to Taipei’s Dazhi District (大直), Chen told a press conference.

Chinese bank official given express airport clearance

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taoyuan International Airport has illegally granted a Chinese official express customs clearance in yet another example of the administration’s abandonment of Taiwan’s sovereignty, a lawmaker said yesterday.

Cai Rongjun (蔡榮俊), director of Bank of China’s (BOC) Taipei branch, used a temporary pass to enter a restricted area of Taoyuan airport on Tuesday to pick up BOC president Li Lihui (李禮輝), who was granted express customs clearance, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) told a press conference.

Press conference scuppers TIFA talks, source says

BAD TIMING?A former government official says Yaung Chih-liang’s event disrupted plans to set the ractopamine dispute aside and move on with the talks
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The US had planned to resume the stalled Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) negotiations with Taiwan last year despite disputes over US beef imports, but ended up dropping the plan after Taiwan made ractopamine-laced US beef a hot-button issue, sources said.

Former Department of Health minister Yaung Chih-liang’s (楊志良) hastily called press conference on Jan. 14 last year, during which he announced that ractopamine traces had been detected in imported US beef, “spoiled the US plan to set aside the ractopamine dispute and move on with the resumption of TIFA talks,” a former government official, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the Taipei Times.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

DPP’s China relations stable: Wu

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Thu, Jun 28, 2012 - Page 3

Former representative to the US Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said he embraces new challenges as the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) policy boss and expects no major changes in the party’s relations with the US and China in the short term.

“It would take time and a fundamental change in the general political climate for the DPP to improve its sour relationship with the US,” Wu, who was last month named chief executive officer of the party’s policy research committee by DPP Chairperson Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), told the Taipei Times in an interview.

Lin Yi-shih rejects bribery claim

CLEAN GOVERNMENT::The DPP called for an immediate investigation into the allegations, saying Ma should explain the actions of his Cabinet secretary-general
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Thu, Jun 28, 2012 - Page 1

Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世) yesterday denied allegations that he attempted to demand more money from a company that had given him NT$63 million (US$2.15 million) as a bribe for helping it with a procurement contract when he was a lawmaker.

Calling a press conference at the Executive Yuan in response to a report in the latest issue of the Chinese-language Next Magazine, Lin said he was considering legal action to prove his innocence.

The Next Magazine report alleged that Lin helped Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司) secure a two-year contract to procure slag and iron-bearing materials from China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation’s largest integrated steelmaker, and that Lin received NT$63 million from Ti Yung in return for his assistance.

DPP seeks public support for ex-president

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday passed a resolution urging party representatives and officials to gather public support for the release of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for medical treatment.

“The DPP urged its councilors and representatives at various levels nationwide to solicit support [for Chen’s medical release] and called for more support from civic groups with the resolution,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said after the Central Executive Committee meeting.

The party had passed two similar resolutions on the medical rights of Chen, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption, when Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) served as acting chairperson, but there were no substantial measures stated in the resolutions.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Extra legislative session set for end of next month

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:The issue of ractopamine-laced beef is expected to be the primary focus of the July 25-27 extra session, following interparty negotiations
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

An extra legislative session will be held from July 25 to 27 to discuss controversial issues, including ractopamine-tainted beef imports and a capital gains tax on securities transactions, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday.

Wang made the announcement following interparty negotiations yesterday morning in which all parties in the legislature agreed to hold a consultative meeting on July 24 to finalize the agenda of the three-day extra session.

Reversion expected in DPP primary process

BACK TO THE FUTURE:DPP members are poised to approve a return to the party-member vote for party primaries in time for the ‘seven-in-one’ elections in 2014
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is mulling the reinstatement of party-member voting in its primaries for elections to replace the current mechanism, which determines party nominations solely on public opinion polls.

The proposed change is expected to be one of the most important issues at the DPP party convention on July 15, since it would be the deciding factor of the party’s nominations for the so-called “seven-in-one” elections in 2014.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Analysts ponder Tsai Ing-wen’s political future

RUMOR MILL:Taipei’s mayoral election is fueling discussion among analysts over who the DPP candidate will be, with some saying generational change is the party’s best bet
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Analysts and a former senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official do not think that former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should run in Taipei’s 2014 mayoral election, despite some DPP members having put forward a proposal for her to be their nominee.

“The proposition was not surprising, but it doesn’t make sense, nor is it logical,” the former offical, who preferred to remain anonymous, said yesterday.

With Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰), tipped as favorites to secure the KMT nomination in the capital’s next mayoral election, political analysts and DPP members began speculating about possible DPP candidates.

Legislative delegations to visit Japan, Germany

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

An 11-member legislative delegation will head for Japan on Sunday for a seven-day visit for parliamentary diplomacy and discussions about nuclear energy.

The delegation, to be led by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), will include lawmakers Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Mark Chen (陳唐山) of the Democratic Progressive Party and Hsu Chun-hsin (許忠信) of the Taiwan Solidarity Union.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tsai Ing-wen gives political advice

BACK-SEAT DRIVING:The former DPP chairperson spoke in an interview about her plans to run a charity and how she thought party and national politics should proceed

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
It would be wise for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to explore more possible candidates in its bid to win the 2014 mayoral election in Taipei, a place of unique electoral demography and for Taiwan to transform its political thought process, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in a recent interview.

Set to open a charitable foundation and possibly take a second run at the presidency, Tsai talked about her observations of Taiwanese politics and the younger generation in an interview with published yesterday.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

TSU urges suspending talks with China

DIRECT DEMOCRACY:The party’s chairman said Beijing had to show democratic progress and that a referendum on the ECFA had to be held before talks could proceed

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

All negotiation on agreements between Taiwan and China should be suspended due to the lack of improvement in China’s legal system and the illegitimacy of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday.

The ECFA, a cross-strait trade deal signed in June 2010, has not yet received the people’s mandate by being put to a referendum, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) told a press conference.

Angina causes Lee to miss court date

CORRUPTION CASE:The former president suffered chest pains at 5am yesterday and doctors recommended that he call off plans to appear for the morning hearing

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) missed a court date for a corruption case yesterday due to an angina attack, but he was said to be in stable condition after treatment.

The 89-year-old was to attend preliminary proceedings at 9:30am at Taipei District Court for a case in which he is accused of embezzling US$7.8 million from secret diplomatic funds. However, he suffered chest pains at 5am and canceled his appearance.

Doctors from Taipei Veterans General Hospital went to Lee’s residence to examine him and recommended that he call off plans to go to court, said Wang Yan-chun (王燕軍), director of Lee’s office.

Friday, June 22, 2012

DPP legislator calls on party to actively engage with China

DEMOCRACY:Lin Chia-lung said that the DPP’s plan to set up a China affairs committee and a party-to-party platform would be a good start
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should participate in China’s peaceful transformation by adopting a strategy that promotes positive engagement and democratic values, a DPP lawmaker said yesterday.

As calls for reviewing the DPP’s China policy intensified after the party’s loss in the January presidential election, DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said it was time for the party to actively engage Beijing.

DPP congratulates Aung San Suu Kyi

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) congratulated Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and pledged full support as Myanmar emerges from the shadow of a military regime.

“I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to you on your recent trip to Oslo, where you have finally, after 21 years, accepted in person the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to you in 1991,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) wrote in a congratulatory letter.

Court dismisses civil case against Chen Shui-bian

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei District Court yesterday dismissed a case brought by the Hsinchu Science Park Administration in which it was seeking compensation of NT$400 million (US$13.4 million) from former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his family.

Chen, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison sentence for corruption, appeared in court for the only civil case among several corruption cases in which he is involved and expressed gratitude for the verdict via his lawyer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Lee talks with Chinese students about democracy

By Chris Wang

The man who was once dubbed Mr Democracy took great pleasure in meeting Chinese students studying in Taiwan and bluntly telling them that democratization in China would be crucial for the development of their country.

“I would consider visiting China — but not before it has become a democratic and free country,” former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) told a Chinese student surnamed Zuo (左) on Tuesday, when he made a speech to a group of students at TransWorld University in Douliou (斗六), Yunlin County.

Chen column stirs up old DPP leadership rivalries

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday denied she feuded with former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) when she was Su’s deputy in the former DPP administration.

Tsai issued the statement in response to a weekly column by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday that said Su had tried several times to replace Tsai in 2006 and 2007.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DPP condemns restarting reactor

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its lawmakers yesterday condemned the Atomic Energy Council’s (AEC) approval for Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) to reactivate the No. 1 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli District (萬里), New Taipei City (新北市).

The DPP said the council on Monday approved the proposal after Taipower repaired defective bolts and subjected them to safety checks to make sure the reactor can continue to operate safely for another 18 months.

Lee speaks out on ractopamine, key influences

SOUTHERN SOJOURN:Lee Teng-hui talked to TransWorld University students about formative events in his childhood and early political career
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter, in Yunlin County

If the livestock feed additive ractopamine is proven harmful to humans, the ban on meat products containing residues of the drug should not be lifted, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday.

Addressing the hot-button issue of ractopamine on the first day of a three-day visit to Yunlin County, Lee said he did not understand why President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was in a hurry to have a bill easing import restrictions on US beef containing ractopamine clear the legislature.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

KMT, DPP slam each other on beef

WAR OF WORDS:The issue that has evoked strong reactions for so long continued to cause fights as both parties tried to discredit each other’s stance on the issue

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Executive Yuan engaged in war of rhetoric yesterday over who had flip-flopped on the US beef imports policy and which administration had been the first to allow imports of US beef containing the feed additive ractopamine.

Executive Yuan spokesperson Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉) said on Sunday night that US beef imports with ractopamine residues had been allowed to enter Taiwan as early as 2000 during the then-DPP administration, despite that administration twice suspending US beef imports.

Extra session will focus solely on beef: Wang

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Tue, Jun 19, 2012 - Page 1
An extra legislative session is scheduled to be held tomorrow and Thursday to discuss a bill on relaxing a ban on the leanness-enhancing cattle feed additive ractopamine, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday.

The decision was made during interparty negotiations in the morning, less than three days after the regular session ended on Friday as the opposition concluded a five-day sit-in to block proceedings.

Speaking after the negotiations, Wang urged the opposition to respect the democratic mechanism and not to block the extra session with a new round of protests.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Legislature to meet to fix beef session

FINAL FLING:The Ma administration is making one final attempt to pass an amendment this legislative session, to avoid using an executive order to settle the beef issue
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Cross-party negotiations for an extra legislative session are scheduled for today as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) aims to resolve the long-stalled US beef dispute quickly, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led opposition is determined to block the move, even if it means launching another round of protests.

The first session of the eighth Legislative Yuan closed on Friday after the DPP’s five-day filibuster, which occupied the podium and paralyzed the plenary, stopping the KMT from putting the amendment on the relaxation of the ban on US beef imports containing ractopamine residue to a vote.

Ma has lost the public’s ‘heart’: poll

DAMNING:Nearly 70% of people opposed an executive order to relax a ban on ractopamine-tainted beef imports, while an analyst forecast the KMT’s demise
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) “has lost the heart of the people” and that they opposed resolving the US beef dispute by relaxing a ban on imported beef containing ractopamine residue by an executive order, a public opinion survey found.

Results of the survey, conducted by Taiwan Thinktank on Thursday and Friday, continued to reflect Ma’s unpopularity — even among pan-blue supporters — shown in a recent series of polls.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Police in Miaoli accused of using excessive force

EXECUTIVE POWER:One group said the Miaoli County commissioner reduced the minimum legal distance between cemeteries and schools to help the industry
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Residents of HoulongTownship (後龍) , Miaoli County, yesterday accused police of physically assaulting them for protesting the construction of funeral facility and cemetery park and accused Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) of illegal colluding with the private developer of the project.

A video recording shown at a press conference organized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻) and Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) showed hundreds of Miaoli police officers pushing their way into the crowd to guard the entrance to the site and clashing with the protesters, most of whom were elderly farmers, at about 6am on Wednesday.

Executive order on beef issue proposed

STALEMATE::As the DPP’s boycott of the legislature drags on, KMT lawmakers appear divided by efforts to ease a ban on beef imports that contain ractopamine
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Fri, Jun 15, 2012 - Page 1

Amid the opposition’s filibuster of a vote on a bill that would allow imports of US beef containing the livestock feed additive ractopamine, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday demanded that the executive branch go ahead and ease the import ban by executive order.

If the opposition’s boycott of legislative proceedings continues today — the final day of the current legislative session — the Executive Yuan should lift the import ban via an executive order, KMT caucus whip Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) told a press conference yesterday morning.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Prison harming Chen: experts

STRESSED OUT:Although they were unable to make a full physical examination, US medical experts said they could tell that Chen Shui-bian is suffering from stress
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The conditions of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) confinement in prison are “unacceptable” and have affected his physical as well as mental health, US-based medical experts said yesterday.

Joseph Lin, Ken Yoneda and Charles Whitcomb, professors at the University of California at Davis, told the Taipei Times that Chen’s health and the conditions of his confinement were “disturbing” and an issue of human rights and humanitarianism.

The three professors visited Chen, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison term for corruption, at Taipei Prison on Monday and spent about an hour with him.

Chinese official acting illegally, TSU says

’FLAT-OUT CON’:China’s Hunan Provincial governor is breaking the law by promoting investment in China while visiting Taiwan, the TSU said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday alleged that China’s Hunan Provincial Governor Xu Shousheng (徐守盛) has engaged in illegal business promotion during his visit to Taiwan and criticized him for his role in the province’s notorious human rights record.

Xu, who is leading a 400-strong provincial delegation on a one-week visit to Taiwan that began on Monday, has violated Taiwanese law that prohibits Chinese officials from promoting business during their visits, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) told a press conference.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beef protesters get their last words in before vote

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Braving heavy torrential rain, hundreds of people yesterday reiterated their opposition against the relaxation of beef imports containing the animal feed additive ractopamine in a protest in front of the legislature in Taipei.

Protesters, including supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union, as well as representatives from various civic groups, attempted to seize what they thought would be the final opportunity to have their voices on the issue heard.

No consensus reached at legislature — on anything

By Chris Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporters
Wed, Jun 13, 2012 - Page 1

The gridlock in the legislature continued yesterday as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the opposition failed to reach consensus on ongoing disputes and whether to have an early recess.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which launched a 120-hour protest on Monday to demand that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration reverse its unpopular policies, proposed an early recess yesterday morning.

“It is time to set aside disputes and focus on disaster relief after overnight torrential rains caused heavy floods across the nation. All the disputes can be discussed in the extra session,” DPP caucus whip Pan Men-an (潘孟安) told a press conference.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Majority oppose US beef imports deal: poll

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

More than 60 percent of the public does not accept easing the ban on imports of US meat products containing the livestock feed additive ractopamine as a prerequisite to resuming trade negotiations between Taiwan and the US, a public opinion survey found.

According to the poll results released by Taiwan Indicators Research Survey (TIRS) yesterday, 63.4 percent of respondents disagreed with the government’s claim that easing the ban on US beef imports was necessary for the resumption of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) negotiations with the US.

DPP lawmakers launch five-day legislative sit-in

ALL NECESSARY MEANS::The KMT caucus whip said the party had a contingency plan to ensure a vote on the US beef amendment takes place in the legislature today
By Chris Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporters
Tue, Jun 12, 2012 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday launched a 120-hour protest in the legislature to demand that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration reverse its unpopular policies.

The caucus began its occupation of the podium at 7am to stop the session from taking place and demanded Ma withdraw the increase in electricity prices and retain the ban on US beef imports containing ractopamine.

DPP accuses president of political persecution

JUDICIAL BIAS:The allegations were leveled after former DPP lawmaker Kuo Wen-cheng was indicted again after initially being cleared of corruption charges
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The indictment of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Kuo Wen-cheng (郭玟成) is the latest example of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) "political persecution” of DPP politicians, the DPP legislative caucus alleged yesterday.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Care leave bill under fire

PUBLIC VS PRIVATE:Critics of the Executive Yuan’s bill for paid family care leave said its proposed stipulations were ‘ridiculous’ and demanded equal treatment for all
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Civic groups and a lawmaker yesterday called for private sector employees to be given paid leave for up to seven days per year to take care of family members in the event of typhoons or other natural disasters, as is given to civil servants.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) told a press conference that the Executive Yuan’s proposed family care leave bill has “ridiculously” set two preconditions for granting paid leave to care for family.

US medical trio hope to visit Chen: Chai Trong-rong

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A delegation of three US doctors is set to arrive in Taiwan today and visit former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in jail in the afternoon, the office of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) said in a press release.

The delegation includes Ken Yoneda, a professor of clinical internal medicine at University of California, Davis, Charles Whitcomb, also a professor at UC Davis specializing in cardiovascular diseases, and Joe Lin, a member of UC Davis’s Board of Trustees.

Lee urges Ma to open his ears on economy

COTERIE:Lee Teng-hui said Ma Ying-jeou’s governing style was akin to that of an emperor who arrived at policy decisions with just a few advisers behind closed doors
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taking good care of Taiwan’s economy is the only way for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to restore public faith in him and that would require a collective effort rather than an oligarchy, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday.

“Instead of feeling good about yourself, you should ask the people whether you are a good president. Social stability would be in place and people would be happy and have confidence in you if you were able to take care of Taiwan’s economy,” Lee said in his closing remarks for a forum on national economic development.

DPP chairman rebuffs Ma invite as ‘shifting focus’

By Chris Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporters
Mon, Jun 11, 2012 - Page 1

A request by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to meet with opposition leaders is an attempt to “shift the focus away” from recent social and political turmoil, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.

“Ma is better off concentrating on resolving the mess he and his administration has created, which is making Taiwanese suffer,” Su told reporters on the sidelines of a party event in New Taipei City (新北市).

Friday, June 08, 2012

Lawmakers accuse justice ministry of contempt over act

DELAY:The ministry said some of the amendments to the personal data act are hard to execute, and implementation will have to wait for a revised law
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Lawmakers from across party lines warned the Ministry of Justice that its failure to implement the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法) two years after it was amended amounted to contempt of the legislature and that it could put personal information protection in jeopardy.

DPP chairman meets US diplomat on think-tank trip

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton yesterday said that Taiwan has an expanded role to play in the international community as well as in the US’ strategic pivot to Asia.

Taiwan getting full membership in the UN and having an expanded role in the international community would be “in the US’ interests,” said Bolton, who is leading a delegation of the American Enterprise Institute think tank on a visit to Taiwan.

He made the comments during the delegation’s meeting with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday.

Ma must apologize for rising prices, DPP caucus urges

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should apologize to the public for what he called a misjudgement of oil-price trends, which resulted in an irreversible increase in retail prices, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday.

Ma admitted on Wednesday for the first time since fuel prices were raised on April 2 that his administration had “misjudged the global oil-price trends.”

Thursday, June 07, 2012

KMT sorry for price hike

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Thu, Jun 07, 2012 - Page 1

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus whip Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) yesterday apologized “on behalf of the KMT” for its “misguided” policy on a fuel price increase just ahead of major declines in international crude oil prices.

The government allowed refiners to raise the prices of gasoline and diesel products by an average of 10.7 percent on April 2, the steepest increase in four years, after the policy was approved by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

DPP’s Su fills duty roster

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was upbeat yesterday about the party’s future after filling almost all the key positions on his team 10 days into his two-year term.

“Our team is almost ready. We want to highlight consolidation in the party and reach out to collaborate with various social forces for the DPP to be a better party that meets people’s expectations,” Su said.

The DPP is obligated to be as powerful an opposition party as it can, particularly at a time when people are suffering from the government’s poor record, he added.

TSU chairman denies feud with Lee Teng-hui

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) yesterday denied a media report that he has been feuding with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) over the alleged misuse of funds at Lee’s foundation and the operation of the TSU.

Describing the report published yesterday by the Chinese-language Next Magazine as “malicious slander” and “plainly wrong,” Huang told a press conference that he did not misuse the funds of the Lee Lien Educational Foundation, which Lee established in 1996, on stock investment.

DPP continues to boycott NCC panel

GRIDLOCK::The KMT’s legislative caucus whip Lin Hung-chih tried to use a constitutional interpretation to force DPP legislators back to the review process to no avail
By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter
Thu, Jun 07, 2012 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers continued to boycott the qualification review of four National Communications Commission (NCC) nominees, insisting yesterday that the review could only resume if the Executive Yuan withdraws the nomination of Integral Investment Holdings Group managing director Chen Yuan-ling (陳元玲).

Apart from Chen, the Executive Yuan has also nominated National Dong Hwa University professor Howard Shyr (石世豪), National Chiao Tung University professor Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) and National Tsing Hua University professor Peng Shin-yi (彭心儀). Shyr and Yu were nominated to serve as new commission chairperson and vice chairperson respectively.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Lawmakers question bid for Kaohsiung arts center

CONNECTIONS?Lawmakers said personal relationships could have played a role in L&K Engineering — which was disqualified in the first bid — winning the final bid
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A “problematic” third bidding process for the Wei-wu-ying Center for the Arts in Greater Kaohsiung could be another scandal in the making, in the wake of the controversy surrounding the rock musical Dreamers (夢想家), lawmakers said yesterday.

L&K Engineering Co won the special-equipment construction bid, which forms part of the NT$12 billion (US$400 million) project, off a base price of NT$1.38 billion in the second bidding process after being disqualified in the first bidding process, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) and Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) told a press conference.

Private schools are favored, unions say

PUBLIC WASTE:The group cited alleged widespread violations by private schools, such as low faculty salaries, and questioned the use of public funds to subsidize them
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Education has squandered public subsidies on the private-school system and failed to monitor its development, raising concern about the direction of the forthcoming implementation of a new compulsory education system, lawmakers and civic groups said yesterday.

The ministry appears to have favored private schools through “an unfair and systemic approach,” and this policy could drive the new compulsory education system — scheduled to be adopted in 2014 — off course, DPP legislators Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) and Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) told a joint press conference with the National Federation of Teachers Unions.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Su Tseng-chang appoints personnel to key positions

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday appointed his long-time aide Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) as the party’s secretary-general while also making former representative to the US Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) the head of the DPP’s policy-making body.

The appointments — Su’s first since the former premier took over the party helm on May 27 — also included three deputy secretary-generals: former Pingtung County legislator Lin Yu-shen (林育生), who is close to Su; former Tainan County lawmaker Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅) and former DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌), DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) told a press conference.

DPP urges KMT lawmakers to uphold ban on US beef

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday called on Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to make the “right decision” when a crucial amendment related to the US beef import controversy is put to a vote next week.

The DPP caucus urged 14 KMT legislators, who had expressed their support for a zero-tolerance policy on US beef imports containing traces of the livestock feed additive ractopamine, to stand firm on their position for the vote, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said.

Monday, June 04, 2012

MAC urges China to face Tiananmen

INDIFFERENCE::DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said Taiwanese should not only seek economic exchanges with China, but should pay attention to its lack of freedoms
By Chen Hui-ping and Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporters
Mon, Jun 04, 2012 - Page 1

The Mainland Affairs Council yesterday called on China to reform its political system with resolve, wisdom and compassion, as well as to face historical facts concerning the Tiananmen Square Massacre and reflect on their significance for the development of democracy and human rights in China.

The council made the remarks in a statement marking the 23rd anniversary of Beijing’s crackdown on unarmed protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

Su to announce key DPP post appointments

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will announce Chairperson Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) appointments for several key positions today, with a source saying that Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀), a longtime Su confidant, was likely to be named secretary-general.

Su could also nominate three deputy secretaries-general, the directors of the party’s Policy Research Committee and Finance Committee and a pair of spokespersons, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Cross-strait integration harms poor: academic

WIN-LOSE:Closer ties with China benefit those who invest there, but Taiwanese workers suffer and voting patterns have emerged which support this trend, research showed
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Closer cross-strait trade ties are positively correlated with unemployment and income inequality in Taiwan and have differentially affected the voting behavior of rich and poor, a recent study showed.

Management and professional personnel and the rich, tended to support the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) while laborers, farmers and poorer people appeared to support the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said Lin Thung-hong (林宗弘), an assistant researcher at Academia Sinica, at a forum on Taiwan’s national economic development organized by the Taiwan Advocates.