Ma open to suggestions
The Presidential Office has invited members of the public to recommend candidates to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to nominate as Control Yuan and Examination Yuan members. The closing date for submitting recommendations is June 5. People can also recommend themselves. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-dominated legislature has for three years been refusing to confirm former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) Control Yuan nominees. Current Examination Yuan members cease work on Aug. 31 and their successors are to be sworn in on Sept. 1. Ma has appointed Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) to head two seven-person task forces that will handle the recommendation of nominees. Siew chaired the first meeting yesterday. Ma told the task force that potential candidates had to be professional and discreet. He said he also hoped to see more women in the two government branches.
'Wetland Year' launched
The government has launched an initiative labeled “2008 — Taiwan Wetland Year” in an attempt to promote wetland conservation, a senior government official said yesterday. The drive, initiated by the Ministry of the Interior’s Construction and Planning Agency, will feature a major international scientific conference, four minor symposiums around Taiwan and several promotional activities. Agency Director-General Charles Lin (林欽榮) said the agency established 75 wetland reserves last year and that various activities were scheduled for this year to promote the importance of wetlands. “Wetlands in Taiwan not only serve as animal habitats and an ecosystem balancer, they also carry high importance in terms of tourism and economic activities,” Lin said.