Tue, Dec 26, 2017 - Page 8 News List

EDITORIAL: KMT tantrums inflict real harm

Although the current legislative session is to end on Friday, many bills remain in limbo.

According to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), deliberations on the general budget for next fiscal year are incomplete, as of yesterday, in six legislative committees for which Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers serve as conveners.

Failure to pass the budget would affect a broad range of government programs, including the Executive Yuan’s planned 3 percent salary increase for civil servants starting next month, long-term care, military procurement, higher-education reform and the purchase of new police uniforms, he said.

The delay is due to the DPP caucus’ flooring of several “controversial bills” that took a lot of time to review, the KMT caucus said, adding that it yesterday submitted a request to Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) to extend the session.

However, many people recall how the KMT caucus, at the first meeting of this legislative session on Sept. 22, obstructed the governing party’s review of the general budget.

The KMT caucus’ stalling tactics have apparently worked.

In his inaugural address on Aug. 21, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) pledged to revive the party by reconnecting with young people and boosting the economy. He also promised to build an honest and efficient government, sustainable environment and a just and harmonious society.

However, his fellow KMT members’ stalling of the budget review and cutting short of ample time for reasonable debate is not exactly helping affirm the credibility of Wu’s pledges and by extension the KMT’s public image.

Lawmakers are tasked with serving the public, not a particular party, and the Legislative Yuan was established for lawmakers to deliberate over bills, scrutinize budgets and monitor the work of the executive branch.

KMT lawmakers could make full use of their legislative power by questioning governmental officials over their proposed budgets and highlighting what they consider to be controversial appropriations. In this way, they could not only demonstrate to the public their behavior as a respectable opposition party, but also show that they are capable of providing constructive criticism.

Resorting to stalling tactics only suggests that KMT lawmakers are not only lazy and failing in their duty to keep the government in check, but also behaving like children, throwing tantrums for the sake of opposing the ruling party.

The KMT caucus should know that such tactics not only erode the public’s trust, resulting in a negative perception of the party as a whole, but also negatively affects the nation’s competitive edge, which in part hinges on the various budget proposals that aim to cement the nation’s sustainable environment.

Lawmakers have much to do to live up to the public’s expectations. Hopefully, KMT lawmakers can realize the solemn responsibility for which the public voted them into office and spend more time delivering on Wu’s promises.

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