Control Yuan out of control
There have always been questions about the need for a Control Yuan and an Examination Yuan.
The Control Yuan has been in the spotlight due to its failure to impeach Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮). Not only have the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union called for the Control Yuan to be abolished, its own president, Wang Chien-shien (王建煊), has also said that perhaps the nation is better off without it.
The functions of Control Yuan are not only ill defined, they also overlap with those of other government institutions in the executive, legislative and judicial branches. What is even worse is that positions in these branches are considered by some as a way to provide political favors.
If the opposition parties are serious about taking up the cause of abolishing the Control Yuan, they need to be more consistent in their stances toward it. For example, when the Control Yuan tried to impeach National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) last year following an incident in which five HIV-infected organs were accidentally transplanted, many in the pan-green camp attacked it for overstepping its mandate and threatened to have it shut down.
Conversely, earlier this year, when a Control Yuan member’s investigation concluded that imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) medical care was insufficient, the report was widely cited by many in the green camp as evidence that the President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration had mismanaged Chen’s healthcare. Many in the DPP praised the author of the report for his investigation.
The opposition parties are inconsistent with respect to the actions of Control Yuan. It is not possible for them to have their cake and eat it too. If the opposition parties are serious about taking up this cause, they really must be consistent in their attitudes and approaches if they are to achieve their goal.
Economist’s claims ‘absurd’
Against the backdrop of Taiwan’s economy experiencing an international balance of payments fund outflow for the 12th consecutive quarter as investors pull their cash from local investment markets, economic quacks like Taishin Financial Holding spokesman Welch Lin (林維俊) are now encouraging cross-strait services deregulation in the banking industry (“Taishin urges service sector boost,” Aug. 21, page 13).
Lin reportedly said that the financial sector is the backbone of the modern service industry, but he failed to mention that the sector’s employees do not actually contribute anything to the real economy, in which people grow and build things.
He quoted statistics showing that financial sector services account for 70.4 percent of GDP in the UK and 58 percent in the US, then goes on to say that this sector amounts to “only” 25.8 percent of Taiwan’s economy, suggesting ample room for growth. Growth for what? More paper pushing and mouse clicking?
Given that the US and UK have been outsourcing their industrial production for decades, while their large banks simultaneously become so intertwined in revolving-door deals with regulators and governments that they are completely corrupted, Lin’s claim is absurd.
Statistics from Singapore, which is facing a looming financial crisis and has a preposterous Gini coefficient — with a ratio 55.2 percent of GDP — along with Hong Kong, home to the world’s largest property bubble outside of Ordos in Mongolia, at 49.1 percent, do not support Lin’s case very much.