Cashing in on their numerical advantage once again, opposition lawmakers at a joint committee meeting yesterday blocked the proposed name change of Chiang Kai-shek (CKS) Memorial Hall and resolved to refer the education minister and his deputy to the Control Yuan for impeachment.
The ministry unveiled a plaque bearing the name National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall last month, but the Taipei City Government argued the ministry had no right to do so. It has since engaged in a legal fight with the ministry over the hall's name.
The meeting, jointly held by the Organic Laws and Statutes Committee and Education and Culture Committee, got off to a bad start when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Tuoh (王拓) proposed postponing the review of two new organizational codes for the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall until the abolition of the law governing the CKS Memorial Hall comes before the committee.
PHOTO: LIU HSIN-DE, TAIPEI TIMES
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Joanna Lei (雷倩), who chaired the meeting, said it would make more sense to tackle one bill at a time.
DPP Legislator Wang Sing-nan (
Lee announced a break for negotiations, but Lei disappeared when DPP committee members began to indulge in tirades.
Lei did not return until 10:25am and immediately called a vote on the DPP motion. Committee members voted 14 to 13 against the motion.
Amid a disturbance among committee members, Vice Minister of Education Chou Tsan-der (
Pan-blue lawmakers argued that using funds for the renamed hall that had been earmarked for the hall under its previous name was illegal. The new title, they added, was illegitimate as it had not been approved by the legislature, which in turn invalidates the bills.
The education ministry, on the other hand, argued that the new title was not subject to legislative approval.
The bills seek to define the duties and authority of hall administrators under the hall's new title.
Lei called another vote on KMT Legislator Kuo Su-chun's (
DPP members then swarmed forward to the podium, complaining about various issues ranging from the voting procedure to the committee's authority to review the bills.
When Lei called another vote to decide the fate of the two proposed bills, committee members voted 13 to 4 in favor of striking them down.
While pan-blue lawmakers were clapping, cheering and praising Lei's "judiciousness," pan-green members pounded their tables and called her an "autocrat."
The committee passed a resolution referring Chou and Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) to the Control Yuan for impeachment. The Control Yuan, however, has been inactive for more than two years since opposition parties refused to confirm President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) nominees.
In response, Tu criticized the committees for expanding legislative power.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (
DPP lawmakers later requested a reconsideration of yesterday's review of the two bills.
As a result, they will need to be reviewed again when the joint committee is next convened.
Given the reconsideration request, the pan-blues would not be able to send the two bills to the plenary session for second and third readings before they are tackled by the committee.
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih,
Max Hirsch and Shih Hsiu-chuan
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,