Sat, Apr 19, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■EMPLOYMENT

Retirement bill reviewed

The Legislative Yuan completed a preliminary review yesterday of a bill that would raise the mandatory retirement age prescribed in the Labor Standards Act from 60 to 65. The draft amendment, which cleared the legislature’s Sanitation, Environment, Social Welfare and Labor Affairs Committee, is still awaiting its second and third readings before it can be signed into law. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔), a sponsor of the bill, said it is necessary to put back the retirement age of workers to strengthen the use of middle-aged and elderly human resources because the average life expectancy in Taiwan has increased to 76 and more older workers are staying in the labor market instead of retiring. The measure is also crucial to cope with the possible impact of the declining birth rate on the labor force, Yang said. Legislators Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍) and Chung Shao-ho (鍾紹和), also of the KMT, said those who wish to retire early could still do so voluntarily even if the law is passed.

■CRIME

Bank founder indicted

Taipei prosecutors yesterday indicted Cosmos Bank founder and former chairman Hsu Sheng-fa (�?o) and 11 other bank staff on charges of embezzlement. Prosecutors requested a 10-year sentence for Hsu, while his son, former vice chairman Hsu Sen-rong (�?a), and daughter, former chairwoman Hsu Juan-juan (�?S), face eight and six years in prison respectively. The family’s lawyers issued a statement in response to the indictments saying that all transactions completed by Cosmos Bank and its sister corporation Cosmos Bills Finance Corp had followed proper procedures. The statement said that Hsu Sheng-fa had not directed any transactional activities at the bank and that government audits over the past years had found no irregularities. It said that all mortgage funds obtained by the bank had been used in investments that advanced the bank’s financial wellbeing and that interest incurred by these borrowed funds had been paid regularly by Cosmos’ parent group, Prince Corporate Group (太子關係企業).

■TOURISM

Cable car ceremony

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) officiated yesterday at a groundbreaking ceremony for a cable car system that will link Sun Moon Lake and the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village in Nantou County. Chang said the 1,825m long cable car system will help rejuvenate overall tourism development. The Sun Moon Lake Gondola, to be developed and operated by the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village under a build-own-operate project, is scheduled to be completed in 18 months at a cost of NT$720 million (US$23.76 million).

■HEALTH

Addicts center opens

The nation’s first employment service center for drug addicts who have undergone methadone treatment was inaugurated in National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan yesterday. Cheng Kung University Hospital officials said the center will help addicts find jobs to facilitate their return to a normal life. The hospital in conjunction with Tainan City government, and Tainan Prosecutors Office will run the center. Similar employment service centers will be set up at the Chi Mei Foundation Medical Center in Tainan County and Tainan Hospital in Tainan City in the future, the officials said.

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