Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) has broken her word and the law by not naming any Hakka and an insufficient number of women candidates to serve on the Taiwan Broadcasting System’s (TBS) board of directors, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻) and activists said yesterday.
“According to the Public Television Act [公共電視法], gender and ethnic diversity must be represented on the TBS board. However, there are not enough women and no Hakkas at all among the 17 board members and I don’t see Lung trying to rectify this problem as she pledged to do last month,” Wu told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning.
“Lung is not only breaking her promise, but also the law,” Wu added.
Article 13 of the act stipulates that there should be between 17 and 21 members on the board, and that both genders and different ethnicities should be well-represented.
At the moment, there are 17 nominees, just five of who are women and none of whom are Hakka.
Responding to the criticism, Lung said that her first goal is to have the list of nominees approved by the legislature and that she promised to take care of the diversity issue afterward.
The formation of the board has been stalled for more than two years due to political infighting in the legislature over the candidates.
Hakka Thinktank secretary-general Liu Chieh-hsiu (劉介修) said that the law requires that there be at least two Hakka TBS board members on a supervisory committee to oversee the Hakka TV channel.
“However, with not a single Hakka on the TBS board of directors, there cannot be two Hakka members to serve on the supervisory committee for the channel and consequently, such a committee cannot exist,” Liu said.
Therefore, a lack of Hakka directors not only fails to meet the legal requirement for diversity on the board, but also violates regulations on the oversight of television channels, Liu said.