Sun, Aug 19, 2007 - Page 8 News List

The KMT are masters of wasting public funds

By Allen Houng 洪裕宏

After Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was pronounced not guilty in his embezzlement trial, he called on prosecutors not to file an appeal, saying "they cannot, nor should they, continue this meaningless waste of funds," adding a hope that this "waste ends here and now."

This is a stunning statement. The verdict by Presiding Judge Tsai Shou-hsun (蔡守訓) and the other judges is laden with the defense's language. It overturns prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen's (侯寬仁) reasons for prosecuting Ma and avoids much evidence that is not beneficial to him. This verdict is very controversial, and as representatives of the public, it is the prosecutors' duty to file an appeal.

Investigating corruption falls within the responsibilities of the legal system, so how can doing so be called a "waste?" I'm afraid real waste is the preserve of the KMT under Ma. Looking back at seven years of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rule, we see the KMT achieving its goal of paralyzing the government by blocking legislation and the government's policy implementation in order to sabotage the DPP's political achievements and take back government power.

One example is how the government's budget was only passed in the legislature's extraordinary session last month, leaving the government with just five months to implement the budget. How could it even hope to be effective? In his plan to engineer the KMT's return to power, Ma has ignored the national economy and the public's living standard, forced the government to run on empty and wasted national funds. I would suggest that the public is the biggest victim here.

On Tuesday, the Council of Grand Justices issued Constitutional Interpretation No. 632, saying that the KMT's obstruction of the nomination of Control Yuan members by refusing to review the president's nomination list and thus hindering the Control Yuan's normal operations for more than two years was unconstitutional. While the KMT praises the constitutional division of the state into five branches, it has all but eradicated the supervising branch. If anything, this is a clear constitutional violation and a waste of the state's institutions.

The last session of the legislature, which begins in the middle of next month, will review the president's Control Yuan nominations. Eight new grand justices will also be appointed. Top KMT leaders have already let it be known that they are getting ready to play the same game again by blocking the choices for grand justices. If the nominations are blocked by the KMT, the Council of Grand Justices will not be able to function properly and Taiwan will have to face the serious constitutional crisis that the lack of this council would pose. Once this happens, the grand justices -- the most important part of the judiciary -- will also have been scrapped by the KMT. This is what "waste" really means.

Ma always talks about how he defends the Constitution, respects the Constitution and follows the Constitution, but the KMT repeatedly sabotages it and violates it. I'm sure we all remember how the establishment of the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee statute (三一九真相調查委員會組織法) was declared unconstitutional, as was the National Communications Commission, and now also the KMT's refusal to review the president's Control Yuan nominations. In addition, the Referendum Review Committee could also be deemed unconstitutional.

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