Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators marched to the Control Yuan yesterday to accuse the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) of spreading “racist” propaganda in its recent efforts to promote an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China.
Led by caucus convener Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) and secretary-general Wang Sing-nan (王幸男), the group, which included DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), also called on the Control Yuan to expedite the vote-buying case against former Chinese Nationalist Party legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井).
The case has already passed its six-month review period, the DPP said.
The MOEA last Monday unveiled a comic strip explaining the ECFA to gain public support for the trade pact.
The cartoon drew heavy criticism from the DPP, which accused the ministry of discrimination.
The comic strip featured two characters — Yi-ge, an ethnic Taiwanese, male vocational school graduate from Tainan who speaks poor Mandarin, and his female counterpart, Fa-sao, a Hakka from Hsinchu with a high-ranking job at an import/export company.
While Yi-ge is portrayed as an unmotivated individual who is clueless about the ECFA yet opposed to it, Fa-sao is well-informed and ambitious and supports the trade deal.
“The cartoon obviously looks down on those from Tainan. This is blatant racial and gender discrimination,” Chai said, adding that MOEA Minister Yiin Chii-ming’s (尹啟銘) apology was not enough and the ministry should stop distribution of the leaflet.
Cheng said the MOEA was arrogant and prejudiced and that it was unfathomable that the government would promote its policy at the expense of smearing ethnic Taiwanese.
Control Yuan review committee member Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) said he had not seen the comic strip, but if the material was as inflammatory as described by the pan-green camp, “then there would be room for review.”
Regarding the case against Liao, Huang said he would look into the matter and ask the agencies involved to explain the delay.
Liao was found guilty of vote-buying at his first trial in October. The court annulled his election to the legislature. The Taiwan High Court took over the case in December.
Cheng said according to the Public Official Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法), a verdict must be reached within six months.