President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday ordered a new task force that is being set up to strengthen security at the Presidential Office to present a report within three months following a string of security breaches.
Presidential Office Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏), who will chair the new task force, said the group would be in charge of strengthening the “internal management mechanism” at the Presidential Office and would fall under the office's clean government committee.
The task force will focus on improving document, staffing and property management, Chan said, adding that he hoped to complete the report within the three months set by Ma.
Chan said the president also discussed the security issue with him, Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and the Presidential Office's two deputy secretaries-general yesterday morning.
The decision came on the heels of recent security lapses at the Presidential Office.
The office confirmed on Tuesday that an unidentified woman in her 50s had sneaked into the Presidential Office building during Ma's overseas trip late last month and lingered for more than 30 minutes before being discovered.
The Presidential Office also described a Web surfer's recent discovery that Ma had prerecorded his weekly video addresses as a “security” problem.
An Internet user named XDite discovered that if users substituted the Web Site address of Ma's July 18 weekly video for the dates July 25 and Aug. 1, viewers could watch in advance Ma's online videos scheduled for the next two Saturdays.
The Presidential Office removed the two “futuristic” videos shortly after XDite's discovery. On Monday, it offered XDite a prize for her “keen observation.”
An outspoken pan-green supporter, Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如), told the media on Tuesday that XDite did not want to come out in public and had asked her too pick up the prize instead.
The Presidential Office said it hoped XDite would appear in person to gain a better understanding of her views.
Yesterday, Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said the government had decided to mail the gift after receiving a cordially written e-mail from XDite.
Wang said the content of the e-mail was in stark contrast to Yang's claim that XDite had asked her to pick up the prize because XDite did not want the meeting with Ma to bring her bad luck.
In the e-mail Wang showed to reporters, XDite apologized for causing so much trouble and said she would be happy to accept the gift. She also gave her company address.
At a separate setting yesterday, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) questioned the lax security at the Presidential Office, saying it was easy to get in through the side doors of the building. She said “any person” could enter the building through the side doors near the hair salon or the canteen.
When asked for comment, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) said Chan and top officials at the National Security Council should take responsibility for the security lapses.
“Whoever is in charge of [the security measures inside the Presidential Office] should take responsibility,” Lo said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up