Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus secretary-general Wang Sing-nan (
"The KMT has said that the act would condemn all family members, even those that were not involved. But I believe in the bill and am willing to debate the content with any KMT member to prove them wrong," Wang said. "If I lose, I will resign as lawmaker. If they lose, they should leave the KMT or apologize."
The draft bill would require family members of deceased defendants to assist in the investigation and attend trials on their behalf. The KMT said it was unreasonable as it would involve a large number of innocent people.
Wang held a press conference at the legislature yesterday to rebut the KMT's claims and said that the opposition was manipulating the issue for electoral gains.
"Nothing in the proposal says that an innocent family member will have to take responsibility on behalf of a guilty person if the guilty party is deceased," Wang said. "The KMT is simply twisting the issue."
Wang said that the proposal was his and DPP caucus whip Wang Tuoh's (
Wang said he would continue to fight for the proposal rather than withdraw it in the face of KMT criticism.
"There's still a long way to go," he said.
When approached for comment in Taoyuan yesterday, KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said the proposed bill could backfire given its long-ranging implications.
"The public thinks that the bill, if passed, will only involve relatives to the ninth degree [of the oppressor], but in fact, the bill could affect more than three generations [of the oppressors' family]," Ma said.
Ma said that the proposal went against the legal principle that only the defendant should be held responsible for the crime.
"It's therefore a very bad proposal," Ma said. "Moreover, I think the proposal would put family members of the victims of the 228 Incident in a difficult position."
Ma also criticized the DPP's handling of the 228 Incident, saying it had not really taken the incident seriously in the past few years.
"It's like what Chen Fang-ming [
Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (
Wu urged Wang to apologize to the public, adding that DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) should relieve Wang as DPP caucus whip if he does not approve of Wang's proposal.
KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (
Hung was referring to Wang's past, when Wang sent a letter bomb to then provincial governor Hsieh Tung-min (謝東閔) in October 1976. Hsieh lost a hand in the explosion.
Wang was sentenced to life in prison in 1977, but was released on parole on May 5, 1990.
"As a family member of a victim of the White Terror era, I felt great sorrow when I saw the bill," said Hung, whose father was imprisoned on Green Island because of political persecution.
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