Fri, Jan 23, 2015 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmaker withdraws motion to freeze funds

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) yesterday withdrew proposals to freeze the operational funding of the Tainan District Prosecutors Office and the Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office, but said that he plans to put prosecutors “who have abused their power of prosecution” under investigation by the Control Yuan.

After a KMT caucus meeting yesterday morning, Lu, at a press conference alongside KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰), announced he would no longer seek to freeze operational funds of NT$24 million (US$762,400) and NT$11 million for Tainan and Pingtung district prosecutors’ offices respectively.

Lu said he made the decision so as, “not to involve innocent prosecutors [by punishing the whole office] for the behavior of a minority of prosecutors.”

Lu instead requested the Ministry of Justice to put the prosecutors in question under investigation by the Control Yuan and the Ministry of Justice’s Prosecutors Evaluation Committee.

Lu said that the proposals to freeze the funding were out of concerns that the Tainan and Pingtung prosecutors’ offices had been abusing their powers.

Lu said this was evidenced by a corruption case the Tainan office initiated against Tainan City Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) of the KMT, which he alleged was an effort to invalidate lee’s election victory and was brought about by pressure from local Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians.

He also said the prosecutors’ offices had intervened in last year’s nine-in-one elections by detaining a KMT party official over a piece of campaign material that was said to be defamatory.

As he had not demanded action against Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) in his proposals, “DPP lawmakers have been smearing me on the Internet for political reasons,” Lu said, alluding to an allegation made by DPP Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) on Facebook that Lu’s proposal to take action against the Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office was motivated by its handling of the Ting Hsin food scandal which led to the KMT’s trouncing in the local election.

Other DPP lawmakers have also accused Lu of illegitimate intervention in individual judicial cases.

All of the district prosecutors’ offices have had 10 percent of their budget frozen — a resolution made by the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee — Lu said, adding that the freeze would be lifted after the offices submit a report at the next plenary session.

Fai emphasized that every legislative caucus has a similar process for lawmakers’ proposals, which must first be generally well-respected and then signed for them to be discussed in cross-party negotiations.

“During budget negotiations, Lin and [DPP Legislator] Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) tabled many proposals for budget cuts and freezes, approved by the DPP caucus,” Fai said. “The KMT caucus publicly denounces their disrespect toward other lawmakers’ proposals and online mudslinging.”

In related news, Lu on Wednesday slammed DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmakers’ proposals to slash educational subsidies for children of retired military personnel, civil servants and public-school teachers and the group’s year-end bonuses, claiming that the aim of the proposals was “to fabricate class struggle to win votes.”

He also mentioned the six firefighters who perished in a blaze in Greater Taoyuan, saying it was “almost unbearable to think of these firefighters [when seeing these lawmakers’ proposals].”

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