Hundreds protest at Alex Fai’s office in recall drive

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Mon, May 05, 2014 - Page 1

Hundreds of people yesterday rallied outside Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Fai’s (費鴻泰) liaison office in Taipei as part of a campaign to recall KMT lawmakers who support the cross-strait service trade agreement that has Fai as its top target.

The protesters held up signs calling on Fai to respect not only President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) opinions, but also the public’s. They also urged him to support the adoption of legislation to monitor cross-strait agreements before the service pact undergoes legislative review.

The protesters began to gather outside the Taipei City Hall MRT station at about 2pm, then marched through the busy shopping area around Taipei 101 to Fai’s office in Xinyi District (信義), attracting many onlookers join along the way.

However, when the crowd arrived at Fai’s office, they were met with closed doors and police officers who declared the rally illegal and told them to disband immediately. The activists told police: “We’re just passing by” and verbal clashes ensued.

Unable to meet with Fai or his staff, the demonstrators put up a list of the telephone numbers for the lawmaker’s Xinyi office and his office at the Legislative Yuan so the public can keep pressuring him.

Kao Jo-yu (高若有), a National Taiwan University student and one of the campaign’s initiators, urged the KMT caucus deputy secretary to support drafting an oversight law before reviewing the trade pact.

“As a lawmaker who is meant to represent the people, I would like to call on Fai to ignore what Ma has asked him to do and do what the voters want instead,” Kao said. “We are asking him to promise to support enacting a law monitoring cross-strait negotiations before reviewing the service trade pact.”

“It’s okay if he doesn’t want to see us or answer the phone today, let’s keep calling him,” campaign spokesman Lin Tzu-yi (林祖儀) told the crowd. “I would like to remind Fai to be aware that the public has shown a lot of support for our campaign, such as by making donations and signing recall petitions.”

Since its launch at midnight yesterday, the campaign has collected NT$5.5 million (US$184,000) in donations and more than 10,000 volunteers. It is titled the Appendectomy Project (割闌尾行動), since in Chinese, the term for blue-camp legislators, lan wei (藍委), is homophonous with “appendix” (闌尾).