Thu, Nov 30, 2006 - Page 2 News List

KMT lawmakers attack plan to amend Oath Act

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday condemned a government-sponsored amendment to the Oath Act (宣誓條例) because they said it would eliminate anti-corruption articles.

"They deleted the articles because the government felt guilty about a spate of [alleged] corruption involving the first family and government officials," KMT Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) told a press conference.

Tsai said the proposed amendment would eliminate an article stipulating that government officials, when assuming the posts, should take an oath not to take bribes, not to interfere with the judiciary, not to seek personal profits, not to waste public money and not to misuse their staff.

"I do not see the need to remove these articles," Tsai said. "Are the stipulations outlining rules for government officials bad for the country?"

KMT Legislator Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍) said the Oath Act had been amended nine times since it took effect in 1930, but the articles had not been changed.

"The articles are the main spirit of the act ... The act would seem meaningless without the articles," Hsu said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), however, said that the party was just trying to simplify the procedure for public officials taking their oaths of office because taking an oath is more symbolic and does not have a binding force on the officials' conduct.

Hsu Kuo-yung said KMT officials such as Keelung Mayor Hsu Tsai-li (許財利), Legislator Her Jyh-Huei (何智輝) and Hsinchu County Commissioner Cheng Yung-chin (鄭永金) had taken their oaths of office but had then violated those oaths by getting involved in corruption cases.

Hsu Tsai-li was sentenced to seven years in prison in September after being charged in connection with a land purchase case.

Her was sentenced to 19 years on charges of breach of trust and corruption.

Hsinchu prosecutors are seeking a 10-year sentence for Cheng, who was indicted in August for accepting bribes from construction companies.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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