The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of trying to shield the Council of Agriculture from answering a call by KMT lawmakers to present a special report on imports of food products from Japan’s radiation-affected regions.
The caucus also slammed DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) for using a term widely considered offensive by Aborigines to describe KMT lawmakers during a verbal spat.
KMT lawmakers asked the legislature’s Economics Committee to call on the council to prepare a special report in today’s committee meeting on government measures relating to its plan to lift the ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures that were affected by the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant meltdown in 2011.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The proposal was vetoed by their DPP counterparts, who said that the committee meetings held yesterday and today are for reviewing the council’s budget and that the schedule is tight.
KMT Legislator and committee member Chang Li-shan (張麗善) told a news conference later yesterday that the KMT had made the request because the public hearings called by the government had failed to do their job.
“Ten public hearings in three days is not what an issue of such importance deserves. We hope the council takes this issue seriously, as the imported goods will mostly be manufactured from agricultural products, and the report should not wait until the review of its budget is completed,” Chang said.
KMT caucus whip Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) then lashed out at Chiu, accusing her of using a “discriminatory term for Aboriginal people that was directed either at me or another [Aboriginal] KMT legislator, Yosi Takun (孔文吉)” during the meeting.
“I did not actually hear her say the word, but the media and our office did,” he said, playing a recording of Chiu’s remarks several times at the news conference.
The term Chiu used was huan-a (番仔, uncivilized person) in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese).
Chiu was heard saying it was “no use talking to these huan-a.”
Sufin Siluko said that the KMT caucus is recommending that Chiu be referred to the Discipline Committee for disciplinary review.
Yosi Takun demanded that Chiu apologize to the nation’s Aborigines.
“The country formally changed the official name of the group from the [discriminatory] ‘mountain people’ to ‘Indigenous people’ as early as 1991. I cannot believe that a DPP lawmaker just used the word in the legislature,” he said.
In response to the criticism, Chiu asked the KMT lawmakers to “look it up in the Wikipedia, as the term means ‘unreasonable people,’ and what the KMT lawmakers did in the committee was just that.”
She said she does not understand why she should be sent to the Discipline Committee for using that word.
“They are being paranoid,” Chiu added.
New Power Party Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, an Amis Aborigine, said in a statement that insofar as Aborigines are still an underprivileged group in Taiwanese society, the word is, in its historical and social context, a pejorative term that was used to refer to Aboriginal people.
“It is definitely not Aboriginal people being ‘paranoid’ when they react strongly to the term; it is part of their real life experience,” she said.
Additional Reporting by CNA
China appears to have built mockups of a port in northeastern Taiwan and a military vessel docked there, with the aim of using them as targets to test its ballistic missiles, a retired naval officer said yesterday. Lu Li-shih (呂禮詩), a former lieutenant commander in Taiwan’s navy, wrote on Facebook that satellite images appeared to show simulated targets in a desert in China’s Xinjiang region that resemble the Suao naval base in Yilan County and a Kidd-class destroyer that usually docks there. Lu said he compared the mockup port to US naval bases in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and in Subic Bay
Police are investigating the death of a Formosan black bear discovered on Tuesday buried near an industrial road in Nantou County, with initial evidence indicating that it was shot accidentally by a hunter. The bear had been caught in wildlife traps at least five times before, three times since 2020. Codenamed No. 711, the bear received extensive media coverage last year after it was discovered trapped twice in less than two months in the Taichung mountains. After its most recent ensnarement last month, the bear was released in the Dandashan (丹大山) area in Nantou County’s Sinyi Township (信義). However, officials became concerned after the
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
DETERRENCE: US National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said cross-strait affairs are on the agenda at the US-ASEAN Special Leaders’ Summit The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday thanked the Czech Senate for passing a resolution supporting Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO and other international organizations for the second consecutive year. The resolution was passed on Wednesday with 51 votes in favor, one opposed and 11 abstentions. In addition to the WHO, it also called for Taiwan’s participation in the “meetings, mechanisms and activities” of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Civil Aviation Organization and Interpol. In its opening, the resolution states that the Czech Republic “considers Taiwan as one of its key partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” while noting its