Despite Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) call to push the long-delayed arms-procurement package through to the National Defense Committee for review, the bill yesterday failed once more to pass the Procedure Committee and be placed on the legislative agenda.
Other blocked legislation -- the confirmation of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) Control Yuan nominees and a retirement-fund bill -- also failed to pass the Procedure Committee, which met yesterday morning in advance of the next legislative session starting on Tuesday next week.
The pan-blue-camp dominated committee voted 18 to 12 against the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) proposal to place 18 bills on the legislative agenda.
Lashing out at the continuing boycott by the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) caucuses, DPP Legislator Eva Hsieh (謝欣霓) said that it was unfathomable to her why the opposition parties were going back on their promise to review the arms-procurement bill if some of the package's items were redirected to the annual budget.
DPP caucus whip William Lai (
"We hope to see a new political climate in the new legislative session," he said.
Further procrastination over arms procurement was bound to sabotage the national interest, Lai said.
He said that Wang had made it clear that it was time to push the bill to the National Defense Committee for review because it had been bogged down in the legislature for too long.
The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) came to the defense of the DPP, and called on the public to express its discontent by punishing the KMT and the PFP at the year-end city mayor and county commissioner elections.
"The KMT and PFP are acting so irrationally that what they are doing is seriously affecting the normal functioning of this country," TSU caucus whip Mark Ho (何敏豪) said.
Ho said that the KMT and PFP were in close contact with the Chinese Communist Party, and that they had been boosting efforts to oppose important government bills.
"I'm wondering whether the KMT and PFP have in fact become agents for the Chinese government, whose main goal is to discredit the Taiwanese government," he said.
Meanwhile, Lai attacked the KMT for making "groundless accusations" against the government's eight-year, NT$80 billion flood-control plan.
Criticizing the KMT as "irresponsible" and "irrational," Lai said that KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
Ma has described the legislation as "crudely prepared."
"It is disappointing to see Ma mislead the public with such deluding information," Lai said.
"We find their opposition and indifference to the plight of people unacceptable," he said.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s