NTU president has stroke
National Taiwan University (NTU) president Lee Si-chen (李嗣涔) suffered a minor stroke during a meeting yesterday afternoon. He was sent to National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) at 4pm and is now hospitalized. NTUH said that as the 57-year-old Lee was in good health and had an active lifestyle, stress from work may have been the cause of his stroke. Lee was originally scheduled to meet Beijing University president Zhou Chi-feng (周其鳳) at NTU today to discuss educational exchanges and collaboration between the two schools. NTU and Beijing University began an exchange student program in 2006 and talks have been held on the two schools establishing a visiting academics program. The meeting will now be rescheduled, NTU said.
Corruption in crosshairs
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday it would set up an internal affairs department to help crack down on bribery and corruption. “We will need to discuss this matter with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to determine how we can cooperate,” MND spokesman Major General Yu Sy-tue (虞思祖) said, referring to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) recent request that the MND crack down on the practice. Yu confirmed that the president had discussed the matter with Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏), adding that the new department could be called the Department of General Inspection. “We will cooperate with the MOJ to move forward on this matter,” Yu said. The spokesman said the Ministry of National Defense Organic Act (國防部組織法) would have to be amended and that the changes must be approved by the legislature before any internal affairs department can be established. Also, more details on how the new department’s personnel would be recruited, trained and promoted must be fleshed out. At present, Yu said, the only confirmed arrangement is that the vice minister would be commissioned as head of the new department.
Gao chooses to go to jail
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) yesterday said he would serve a six-day prison term he received for calling KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) “a mad dog” rather than paying a fine of NT$6,000. The Taiwan High Court last week found Gao guilty of slandering Chiu. Gao said he wanted to protest the verdict as while many people who use insulting language are just fined, he was given a prison sentence. In addition, he said he wanted to experience prison, as many of the DPP pioneers did in the past.
THSRC signs MOU
Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC), the Bank of Taiwan (BOT) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday that allows THSRC and the BOT to negotiate a capital-enhancing plan that is expected to help the debt-ridden railway company stay afloat. Hu Hsiang-lin (胡湘麟), deputy director of the MOTC’s Bureau of High Speed Rail, said the ministry was scheduled to sign a new three-way contract on the capital-enhancing plan. Hu said the memorandum was signed as part of the government’s commitment to help the government contractor secure financial assistance, which would give THSRC and BOT a legal base to work out details that include the credit, interest rates and the time needed to pay back the loans in full. BOT can also use the government’s commitment to seek new partners to jointly provide loans to THSRC.