Wed, Sep 17, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ma dines, slammed for ‘not caring’

By Mo Yan-chih, Rich Chang and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) met Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators for dinner yesterday, calling on them to pass a general budget bill and other bills before the new legislative session begins on Friday.

“The KMT has complete power over the country and we must take full responsibility … The government will strengthen communication with party legislators and hopefully the two sides will be more cooperative,” Ma said yesterday during dinner at the Taipei Guest House.

Ma will hold two other dinners with party legislators today and on Friday to hold discussions with them and seek the their support for his nomination of the Examination Yuan president, Control Yuan vice president, Control Yuan members and grand justices.

The Presidential Office will present the nomination list to the Legislative Yuan on Friday.

The legislature rejected Ma’s initial nominations of Chang Chun-yen (張俊彥) as Examination Yuan president, Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) as Control Yuan vice president and three other nominees affiliated with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) during previous legislative session.

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and top KMT officials were also present at the dinner.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the casualties and damage brought by Typhoon Sinlaku, Ma promised to visit disaster-hit areas in Taichung and Nantou today after being criticized for failing to address the needs of the victims and their families.

Presidential Office spokesman Wang Yu-chih (王郁琦) dismissed criticism of the Ma administration’s slow response to the disaster and said Ma would inspect the areas today.

DPP legislators criticized Ma yesterday for attending ceremony in Taipei yesterday while failing to inspect damaged areas.

DPP caucus whip Chang Hua-kuan (張花冠) told a press conference yesterday that Ma held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of Nankang Software park in the morning, attended a press conference at Kuo Kwang Biotechnology Company in the afternoon held a dinner with KMT legislators in the evening.

Chang said Ma did not care about the people who were affected by the typhoon.

She said Ma did not inspect Taichung County’s Houfeng Bridge (后豐橋), which collapsed on Sunday, Nantou County’s Fengchiu Tunnel (豐丘隧道), which was crushed by a mudslide, or the dangerous Lushan Hot Springs Area.

Chang also demanded that Liu resign over the collapse, claiming that it reflected the manner in which the Ma administration has ruled the country since May.

DPP Legislator Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) said it was irresponsible for the government to only allocate NT$180 million (US$5.6 million) for repair work at 10 bridges deemed dangerous throughout the country.

KMT Caucus Secretary-General Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) dismissed criticism of the president, urging the DPP not to play the blame game amid the typhoon relief.

Chang said each government chief had his or her own responsibility, adding there was no need for the premier and the president to take inspection trips after every natural disaster.

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