Wed, Mar 20, 2002 - Page 3 News List

MAC to target disloyal ex-officials

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

The government plans to amend legal regulations to put a curb on former civil servants serving in Chinese organizations, according to Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通).

Chen said MAC officials have been discussing the revision of the Statute Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) and said a draft of the proposals will be presented in five months.

Chen made the statements at a legislative public hearing yesterday when responding to requests made by TSU members to establish a tighter system to prevent former government officials from undermining Taiwan's security by serving for Chinese agencies.

The pro-Taiwan party attracted significant media attention last week when TSU lawmaker Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) revealed that some former officials, who had played important policy-making roles in Taiwan, receive remuneration and benefits from jobs on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Liao appealed to authorities to mete out stern punishment to officials who attempt to achieve personal gains at the expense of national security and national interests.

Under Article 33 of the Statute, Taiwanese nationals may not serve in Chinese organizations without the government's permission.

But TSU lawmakers consider the regulation insufficient to regulate misconduct by former public officials.

Chen said the MAC is mulling adding more regulations in the Statute to discipline the behavior of ex-civil servants because relations between the government and former public officials are different from those between the government and ordinary citizens.

"For this reason, the government is entitled to impose more restrictions on former government officials and can request that they maintain confidentiality. Regulations are necessary to assure the loyalty of past officials," he said.

However, Chen said he would make sure the addition would not violate people's employment rights bestowed by the Constitution.

In addition to placing tighter restrictions on former Taiwanese officials' serving for Chinese organizations, Chen pointed out the MAC is also proposing raising the penalties for former officials who illegally enter China.

In accordance with the law, officials whose jobs involved defense, technology, intelligence and other national development and security issues can't visit China without the government's permission within three years of leaving office.

Those breaking the regulation stand to be fined between NT$100,000 to NT$500,000.

Chen said the MAC suggests raising the penalty to between NT$200,000 and NT$1 million.

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