Mon, Dec 04, 2000 - Page 1 News List

Declare war on crime, Chen urged

RIGHT PRIORITIES `Black gold' and ordinary crime are major social concerns, so toughen up the fight against them and ignore the opposition's political posturing, the president's advisers have told him

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The DPP government plans to strengthen its efforts to carry President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) campaign promise to crackdown on "black gold" by focusing more on improving social order, now that political struggles are cooling off.

During last week's policy making meeting for the president's nine-member task force, an agreement was made to draw on more of the government's resources to crack down on crime at the grassroots level.

"People have a deep-seated hatred, not only of gangsters who are involved in politics, who were members of crime organizations and then become congressmen, but also from their personal encounters with theft and robbery," said DPP legislative caucus leader Perng Shaw-jiin (彭紹謹) during the meeting.

Perng said that the government should place more importance on what the general public feels than worry about what politicians are saying.

Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), the head of the DPP's legislative caucus, agreed.

"Residents can't stand it when crime seems to surround them," Hsu said.

During the meeting the president asked members to evaluate the recent move by opposition members to push for his recall.

In their comments, task force members focused on the importance of some independent lawmakers halting their support of the KMT's push to oust Chen. In order to pass a recall vote in the Legislative Yuan, some 147 votes are needed.

Of those votes, a crucial number, seven, need to come from independent lawmakers.

One source in the meeting said that legal cases have pressured some lawmakers, such as Tsai Hao (蔡豪), Luo Fu-chu (羅福助) and Wu Tse-yuan (伍澤元) into taking a neutral stance, helping stave off the push for a recall of the president.

"Tsai is scared because of an scandal that he is suspected of involvement in and Wu faces similar problems," the source said. "For now they should keep a low profile and not support the opposition party alliance."

Tsai is suspected of involvement in a land scandal and Wu was sentenced to 15 years last week, after being found guilty of accepting bribes in the handling of a flood prevention project between 1988 and 1992. A medical parole has allowed Wu to stay out of jail and continue to serve in the legislature.

Perng also suggested that the government be as even-handed as possible in its crack down on black gold since the DPP had to use its achievements to help boost its campaign in next year's legislative elections.

Perng said that the approach could also be used to counter opposition parties' possible attack of the government's economic policies.

The nine-member task force includes the president, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Secretary-general to the President Yu Shyi-lun, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), Secretary-general to the Premier Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and DPP Secretary-general Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), as well as Perng and Hsu. The group meets every Tuesday night, at the Presidential Office.

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