Tue, May 19, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Head of Council of Indigenous Peoples comes under fire

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) Minister Chang Jen-hsiang (章仁香) came under fire from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators yesterday at the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee, who called her leadership style “arrogant and passive.”

KMT Legislator Kung Wen-chi (孔文吉), a Sediq who authored the bulk of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) policies promising to improve basic infrastructure for Aborigines, said that after one year in office, the CIP had failed to deliver on any of the items included in Ma’s platform and that Chang’s “passive” leadership was to blame.

“Many Aboriginal groups have said the Ma administration bounced its check when it comes to the promises he made them. But the CIP is the government agency that handles the matter,” Kung said.

“What have you done lately besides going to ribbon-cutting ceremonies?” Kung asked, adding that activists had called for Chang’s resignation on numerous occasions over the past year.

DEFENSE

Chang, an Amis, said the proposal for budgets appropriation had already been submitted to the Executive Yuan for review, adding that many projects, including improving farm roads, had begun.

Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), another KMT lawmaker, requested that Chang withdraw the current draft of the Aboriginal autonomy bill and other related documents that were tabled under the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government and to push for the current administration’s version.

“You need to do it quickly because the legislature will soon be in recess and after the break we will be busy examining next year’s budget. If you delay tabling the government’s version of the bill, no progress will be made until this time next year,” she said.

KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who is also committee chairman, urged Chang to withdraw the proposal immediately so that “the legislature won’t be forced to review a proposal submitted by the DPP.”

Chang said that an immediate withdrawal could be construed by the Aboriginal community as a signal that the government had failed to deliver on its promises.

The CIP will hold several public hearings to listen to Aborigines before writing a new draft, she said.

ERROR

Meanwhile, Huang said that in its online dictionary, the Ministry of Education (MOE) had recently listed the title “head leader” (頭目) as ringleader of a criminal organization.

In Aboriginal culture, the term is an honorable title bestowed upon the patriarch of a tribe who has demonstrated superior wisdom, leadership and bravery.

While Chang said she was unaware of the error, an aide said the MOE had agreed to make the appropriate corrections.

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