Civic groups yesterday accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of using the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) as his “personal tool” for political persecution and jeopardizing the nation’s constitutional system. They called for the division to be abolished.
While influence peddling by politicians deserved condemnation, Ma’s open attack on Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who was allegedly involved in lobbying the judiciary, is a more serious concern, the representatives of various groups said yesterday.
Lawyer Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said Taiwan should learn from the experience of South Korea, Germany and the US, which have all abolished agencies similar to the SID.
By commenting on Wang’s alleged lobbying and demanding that he be removed, Ma breached his responsibility under the Constitution, Taiwan Democracy Watch spokesperson Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told a press conference.
Ma, who is chairman of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), another KMT member, had both prioritized party politics and ignored the constitutional order with their public comments about removing Wang from the legislative speakership, Hsu said.
“Judicial lobbying is intolerable, but due process is necessary in holding lobbyists accountable,” Hsu said.
“We believe the president, premier and prosecutor-general [Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘)] have all damaged the nation’s constitutional order through excessive wiretapping and surveillance as well as by violating the separation of powers. This [situation] is not acceptable,” Hsu said.
At a separate press conference in Taipei, representatives from pro-independence groups said Ma’s insistence on removing Wang was suspicious because the president could have his eyes set on more ambitious goals.
For Ma, Wang had to go because as speaker he had failed to get the cross-strait service trade agreement through the legislature, Taiwan Society president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said.
“With a new speaker, it would be easier for Ma to pass the agreements on trade in goods, culture and the top prize — a peace agreement — in the future,” Chang said.
TRICKED INTO MOVING: Local governments in China do not offer any help, and Taiwanese there must compete with Chinese in an unfamiliar setting, a researcher said Beijing’s incentives for Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in China are only intended to lure them across the Taiwan Strait, after which they receive no real support, an expert said on Sunday. Over the past few years, Beijing has been offering a number of incentives that “benefit Taiwanese in name, while benefiting China in reality,” a cross-strait affairs expert said on condition of anonymity. Strategies such as the “31 incentives” are intended to lure Taiwanese talent, capital and technology to help address China’s economic issues while also furthering its “united front” efforts, they said. Local governments in China do not offer much practical
Police have detained a Taoyuan couple suspected of over the past two months colluding with human trafficking rings and employment scammers in Southeast Asia to send nearly 100 Taiwanese jobseekers to Cambodia. At a media briefing in Taipei yesterday, the Criminal Investigation Bureau presented items seized from the couple, including alleged victims’ passports, forged COVID-19 vaccination records, mobile phones, bank documents, checks and cash. The man, surnamed Tsai (蔡), and his girlfriend, surnamed Tsan (詹), were taken into custody last month, after police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport stopped four jobseekers from boarding a flight to Phnom Penh, said Dustin Lee (李泱輯),
BILINGUAL PLAN: The 17 educators were recruited under a program that seeks to empower Taiwanese, the envoy to the Philippines said The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan. The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said. Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed. Among the first group is 57-year-old
PUBLIC POLL: More than half believe Chinese drills would make Taiwanese less willing to unify with China, while 36 percent said an invasion was highly unlikely Half of Taiwanese support independence, according to the results of a poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, which also found that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) support rating fell by 7 percentage points. Fifty percent of respondents supported independence, 25.7 percent supported maintaining the “status quo” and 11.8 percent supported unification, while 12.1 percent had no opinion, did not know or refused to answer, the foundation said. Support for independence is the new mainstream opinion, regardless of which party is in power, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said. Insinuations that Taiwan wants to maintain the “status quo” are a fabrication that