Over the past decade, early January has traditionally brought a swift end to the festive season for Taiwan's television viewers. This is the time when the Koo's Group (
All we ever see in this annual ritual is government authority being repeatedly trampled by two powerful consortiums. Last year, it took the then KMT secretary-general John Chang (
What are we to expect next year? Without a major election in the offing, we can be sure that consumers will have to fend for themselves.
What is different about this year's cable TV war is that the two big operators now appear to be fighting for the next pie in the communications market: broadband networks. Koo's Group and Rebar each claim that they have recently signed contracts with cable operators serving three to four million subscribers. Which means that the market has been effectively dominated by them. With such a captive audience, they can afford to expand the delivery of their own content, even at the expense of channels that are probably more popular among viewers. And because cable operators take their fees in a lump sum -- six months up-front -- viewers are locked in for a fixed period. This allows the two groups to actively cross-promote their new Internet services, which they see as the multi-billion-dollar future of the industry.
What can the government do? Many have pointed their fingers at Chao Yi (
Since Chao Yi took office as GIO director, the two cable TV stations he used to head up have both run into trouble. He has effectively answered the question asked by this newspaper upon his appointment: how can a man who was so recently a media boss maintain neutrality in the event of a dispute among his former friends and employers? He can't. By contrast, FTC chairman Chao's long tenure in her position makes her claims to ignorance of the cable TV dispute hard to believe.
Yet it is not only these two who are deserving of censure. In fact, the current dispute poses a serious challenge to the entire administration's credibility, caught as it is between two feuding KMT business titans.
Indeed, the presence of Koo Chen-fu (
The National Health Insurance (NHI) system has been in deficit for three years in a row since it dipped back into the red in 2017. As pressure grows for the government to raise NHI premiums, it is widely hoped that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) can apply the expertise and the political capital he has gained from fighting COVID-19, along with his gifts for communication and mediation, to guide Taiwan’s first steps on the arduous road to NHI reform. Government departments concerned with the NHI have long followed a policy of reducing the deficit by cutting costs. To
Independent Legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) is to start his prison term for stock manipulation today, but he has not lost his citizen’s rights and therefore is able to keep his post, a situation that has aroused much controversy. Directly elected officials and representatives at a central government level are allowed to retain their posts and salaries during imprisonment, and they can resume their official duties upon their release, due to the incomplete Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). However, locally elected officials and representatives convicted and sentenced to prison lose their posts in accordance with Article 79 of the Local
A debate has been raging for many years over Taiwan’s teacher’s selection test, with accusations of a non-transparent process that include “special favors,” rigged selection processes with pre-chosen candidates and salary fixing. Persistent rumors of improper practices have led to a constant state of turmoil within the teaching profession. Generally speaking, fewer rumors surround the selection processes run by county and municipal governments than appointments organized at a school level. However, it might be that county and municipal-level appointments are equally non-transparent, but have received less exposure. It is unfortunate, since becoming a teacher should be a matter of pride
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