The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday morning occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest the Cabinet’s NT$880 billion (US$29 billion) budget proposal for the “Forward-looking Infrastructure Construction Project,” calling for 10 public hearings to be held before the proposal is reviewed, which a cross-caucus negotiation in the afternoon cut to six.
The legislature’s question-and-answer session ended on Tuesday and lawmakers yesterday started reading bills, with the Cabinet’s budget proposal for the infrastructure project one of the bills to be referred to legislative committee.
KMT lawmakers, clad in caucus uniforms, obstructed the proceedings by occupying the legislative speaker’s podium and shouting criticism of the project, demanding that at least 10 public hearings be held before the proposal is reviewed by six of the eight legislative committees.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The placards they placed on the podium read: “The real purpose of the ‘Forward-looking’ project is buying votes,” “The project emphasizes Democratic Progressive Party [DPP]-governed regions,” “Is it so easy for the government to squander nearly NT$1 trillion when the people are suffering” and “10 public hearings have to be held to break this ‘forward-looking’ black box.”
A cross-caucus negotiation was called, at which the ruling DPP caucus agreed to hold the public hearings, but the two parties locked horns over the number of the hearings and who should preside over them.
The KMT caucus demanded that 10 public hearings be held, four in central and southern Taiwan.
The DPP disagreed and said that lawmakers are only responsible for hearings held at the legislature.
The two caucuses agreed that six of the eight legislative committees should review the budget proposal and that six public hearings should be held.
It was agreed that only one public hearing should be held each day, to prevent a committee rushing through the required procedure.
DPP headquarters later issued a statement “expressing regret” over the KMT caucus’ obstruction of the project.
“The KMT, barbaric as it might be, should not obstruct the nation’s economic development and the building of local infrastructure,” DPP spokesman Ruan Jhao-syong (阮昭雄) said.
The Forward-looking Infrastructure Construction Project, which was announced last week, is to focus on “green” energy, water resources, railways, digital infrastructure, and urban and rural development.
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying:
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while