Sun, Jan 03, 2016 - Page 3 News List

ELECTIONS: Candidates answer netizens’ questions

WELL-CONNECTED:All the candidates touted their strong advocacy of Internet access, with the DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen saying that ‘broadband Internet service is a basic civil right’

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The presidential candidates from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Eric Chu, the People First Party, James Soong, and the Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai Ing-wen, left to right, stand behind their podiums during yesterday’s televised debate in Taipei.

Photo provided by the organizers of the debate

Questions ranging from technology, the judicial system, the pension system, monetary policy and workers’ rights from people online were put to the three candidates yesterday during the second and final presidential debate.

All three candidates agreed that free Internet access should be provided, along with fast, good-quality connections, and that the digital divide should be narrowed by the government.

People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) said that Internet connection speed is one of the major projects in his development proposal that aims at “overtaking South Korea and catching up with Singapore” by 2030.

“I would transform Taiwan into one of the top 10 nations with the fastest Internet connection speeds in four years. It is currently ranked 33rd,” he said.

He said that while access to the Internet, with its devices needing basic maintenance, could not be free, it should be kept at a low price and the government would have to work on the security of the flow of information.

The Internet industry should be supported, as Taiwan has to integrate with the world via the Internet, with the flow of money, products and information all catching up with the idea of Industry 4.0, Soong added.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) said Taiwan would overtake Singapore in two years and Hong Kong and Japan in four years to reach the level of South Korea.

“I also propose that people from low-income households should have free Internet access, which is something that I have done in New Taipei City,” he said.

“I proposed in 2012 that access to broadband Internet service is a basic civil right, and I uphold that again,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said, adding that upgrading the Internet and its speed will be the priority of the party’s infrastructure project.

“Other than hardware, we are to provide public service and commercial opportunities through the application of the Internet of Things, big data and digital cities. Also, we would make digital literacy a basic skill, having our children equipped with basic digital and programing abilities through our public education system,” Tsai said.

The second question was: Do you believe there is too much room for the discretion of judges, who have the protection of a lifetime appointment?

The candidates said that the president should take on the responsibility of initiating reforms of the judicial system and that Taiwanese should actively participate in the judicial process. The current “lay observer system” should be improved to a jury system that guarantees people’s participation.

Tsai said that regulations on judicial officials entering and exiting the field should be re-examined and their human rights literacy enhanced.

Chu said the public has lost faith in the quality of the nations judicial system, “with different results coming from different courts and at different times.”

The third question raised the controversial pension system of retired military personnel, public-school teachers and civil servants, some of whom “draw a monthly pension equal to or even more than 100 percent of their pre-retirement salary,” and asked for the candidates’ solutions.

Soong said that the nation’s debt has not been caused by retirees from public employment.

This story has been viewed 7739 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top