Tempers became heated in a meeting of the legislature's Budget and Final Accounts Committee yesterday after the agenda was abruptly changed to review spending by the National Security Bureau.
The committee originally was to discuss budgets for two state-run companies. But the group -- with the support of KMT and PFP lawmakers -- switched topics to the NT$3.5 billion the security bureau had stashed in two secret funds that were beyond legislative oversight.
DPP members said the opposition's attempt to review the National Security Bureau was "unlawful." Opposition members said their DPP colleagues were attempting to block the legislature's constitutional right to oversee the bureau's budget.
After the committee's agenda was changed, several government officials were asked to attend a briefing to answer questions.
They were Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), secretary-general of the National Security Council; Tsai Tsao-ming (蔡朝明), director of the National Security Bureau; Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council; Eugene Chien (簡又新), minister of foreign affairs; and Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟), secretary-general of the Presidential Office.
But most government officials failed to attend the meeting.
DPP lawmakers -- including Chen Chung-shin (
They proposed that yesterday's meeting be adjourned without further discussion.
That idea sparked an uproar among the KMT and PFP. KMT lawmakers Chu Fong-chi (
Siding with the DPP, TSU lawmaker Huang Chung-yung (
Amid the chaos and rancor, Lin Kuo-hua (
In a separate meeting of the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee, KMT lawmaker Chen Hung-chang (陳宏昌) also proposed changing yesterday's agenda to discuss the secret funds.
Chen said he wanted to hear from the foreign minister on how the secret funds were used in matters of foreign affairs. Eugene Chien also allegedly has received money from the secret accounts, the lawmaker noted.
But those remarks triggered outrage among DPP members. Party member Lin Chung-mo (
Independent lawmaker Sisy Chen (
The committee eventually decided to ignore Lin and passed Chen Hung-cheng's proposal to change the meeting's agenda.