Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Tsai a `bitch' no more as bills blocked

NO PROGRESS The special arms budget bill and the president's list of nominees for the Control Yuan were blocked once more in the Procedure Committee

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

A lawmaker will no longer refer to himself as "bitch brother," but he says he's not happy about it.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳) changed his name back to Tsai, as the legislature's Procedure Committee yesterday rejected a special arms procurement bill for the 36th time, and kicked back the confirmation of the president's nominees for the Control Yuan -- the government's oversight agency -- as well.

Tsai had previously sworn that the public could call him biao ge (婊哥), or "bitch brother" if the government failed to shut down the cable station TVBS, whose shareholder structure he claimed was illegal. However, Tsai backed down after the president announced last Tuesday that no TV networks would be shut down during his tenure, and changed it to a more innocent homynym, the character biao (), which means "a picture frame."

Tsai said the embarassment had occurred because he "made a mistake in his understanding of the matter."

Tsai said last Wednesday that he would change his last name back to Tsai if the long-stalled arms procurement bill and confirmation of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) nomination of Control Yuan members failed to pass the Procedure Committee within one week -- hardly a gamble, given the pan-blue alliance's dogged opposition to the bills.

The pan-blue dominated Procedure Committee yesterday voted 19 to 12 in favor of KMT caucus whip John Wu's (吳志揚) proposal to shelve the arms procurement bill and confirmation of the president's selections of Control Yuan members as well as five other bills proposed by the Executive Yuan and DPP lawmakers.

Before the proposal was put to a vote, Tsai, who is not a member of the committee, expressed the wish to speak to the committee but was rejected by pan-blue comittee members, saying that it was not necessary.

Tsai went on to speak without the microphone anyway, calling on pan-blue committee members to grant him his wish to continue using the last name "Biao." His colleague, DPP Legislator Kuan Pi-ling (管碧玲), jumped to her feet and pleaded with pan-blue committee members to let a dedicated lawmaker who is willing to make sacrifices continue to be her biao ge, because Tsai has been like a brother to her.

The committee also voted 19 to 13 in favor of a proposal filed by KMT Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓) to block the three different versions of a party asset bill, drafted by the Executive Yuan, the DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU).

The bill is designed to compel the KMT to return its improperly acquired party assets.

Bills that passed the committee and will be discussed on the plenary legislative session of Nov. 22 include amendments to the Law Governing Legislators' Exercise of Power (立法院職權行使法) and three different versions of the Statute Governing Preferential Treatment to Retired Presidents and Vice Presidents (卸任總統副總統禮遇條例). Most of them had been proposed by the pan-blue alliance.

Regarding Control Yuan nominees, the president yesterday urged the Legislative Yuan to screen the list as soon as possible to uphold the constitutional system and the rights of the people.

"It's a pity that they had not looked at the list at all. Legislators should have dealt with the case rationally," Chen said when receiving a group of scholars invited by Tamkang University for an international seminar.

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