Commission to remove Chiang from bills: source

By Chen Yu-fu and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sat, Sep 08, 2018 - Page 1

The Transitional Justice Commission has begun preparations to issue an updated currency design that would remove authoritarian symbols, such as images of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), a commission member said yesterday.

The commission has already approached some local governments to host panels — which are scheduled to take place before the end of this year — to explore the relationship between authoritarian symbols and everyday life, said the commission member, who declined to be named.

The panels would aim to open conversation and allow local residents to discuss how authoritarian symbols, such as Zhongzheng Road — named after Chiang — and statues of Chiang, are embedded into the minds of people, they said.

Before removing the symbols, the commission needs to conduct research, gather information and engage in dialogue with communities, they added.

In terms of redesigning the nation’s currency, the commission must first look at the scope of and information from previous redesigns, including the interval between each redesign, how much funding is needed and the content of each redesign, the source said.

Conceptually, the commission would also survey images on the currencies of other modern, democratic nations, the source said, citing as an example currencies that feature important people, or animals and plants that are unique to their nation.

The new currency design would remove the legacy of authoritarianism and feature images the public can recognize easily, they said.

The commission cannot move forward with the currency redesign until its research has been completed, they added.

In March, central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said the central bank would remove authoritarian symbols from the nation’s currency if explicit orders were given by the commission.

In addition to the panels, the commission is also to propose before the end of the year a plan on transforming Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the source said.

Last month, the commission released initial estimates indicating that there are more than 500 statues of Chiang at public institutions in Taiwan, as well as hundreds of public buildings and spaces — including public schools, roads and parks — named after or dedicated to Chiang and his son, former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).