The Taiwan Rural Front (TRF) and farmers yesterday protested the passing of proposed revisions to the second reading of the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例) and called Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) a “liar” for failing to include certain items into the Cabinet version revisions that they said he had promised.
“When meeting with us in July, Wu promised that he would hold further talks on revisions to the Land Expropriation Act to listen to what farming rights advocacy groups and farmers had to say,” said Liao Pen-chuan (廖本全), an associate professor at National Taipei University’s Department of Real Estate and Built Environment, at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan.
“Months have passed by, and the next thing we heard about the law is that the proposed revisions have been incorporated into the second reading without going through the first reading process,” Liao said.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Liao, a TRF member, was one of those who spoke to Wu in a meeting at the Executive Yuan where the TRF staged a protest in July.
According to Taiwan’s legislative system, a proposed bill or amendment is introduced to the legislature in a first reading, in which the lawmaker or government official who proposed the bill or the amendment introduces the amendments before it goes to further committee review and debate in a second reading.
A proposed bill or amendment is often a foregone conclusion by the time it reaches the second reading, after which it is sent to the general assembly at the Legislative Yuan for the third reading and a final vote before it becomes law.
“Wu is practically a liar, because he never called a meeting with non-governmental organizations [NGO] as he promised and sent the proposed amendments straight for a second reading on Thursday,” Liao said.
Thomas Chan (詹順貴), another member of the TRF and an attorney who represents farmers and farming activists in lawsuits, agreed with Liao that Wu is a liar, but said it was for a different reason.
“We NGOs also proposed our version of revisions to the law, which included clauses requiring developers to clarify the ‘necessity’ and ‘public interests’ involved before a land expropriation deal could be approved by the government,” Chan said. “We also wanted third-party real-estate appraisers to estimate the value of land to be seized by the government.”
While Wu said he accepted the TRF’s ideas, “none of what we wanted made it into the Cabinet--proposed amendments,” Chan said.
Miaoli County’s Wanbao Self-Help Association president Chen Hsing-hsiung (陳幸雄) called on lawmakers and the government to include clauses proposed by farming rights groups to better protect people’s rights to their lands.
Wanbao Borough (灣寶) of Miaoli County’s Houlong Township (後龍) was one of the farming villages facing government seizure of their land for development projects.
The Wanbao crisis was resolved when the Ministry of the Interior rejected the development project, but Wanbao residents are still familiar faces supporting others struggling against land expropriation.
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
THREATS: Dismissing Beijing’s assertion that its military exercises only target Taiwanese separatists, Chiu Kuo-cheng said war has no regard for political affiliation In case Taiwan is attacked, the military will defend the nation and not stand by like “plastic toys,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee. Chiu was responding to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) asking him to clarify his remark last week that “the military holds to the principle that we will not fire the first shot.” Wang asked Chiu whether he meant what he said literally or that Taiwan would not start a war. “The Republic of China will not start a war,” Chiu
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found