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
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,