Thu, Sep 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmaker startled by Lai’s ‘meek’ telephone call

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) yesterday said he was startled by Tainan Mayor William Lai’s (賴清德) “meek” tone when the premier-designate telephoned him.

Lai telephoned opposition lawmakers, apparently to express his hope that they could tone down the conflict between the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan, thereby allowing policies formulated by his Cabinet to more smoothly pass legislative reviews.

Lin said that he was initially startled by how “meek” Lai sounded on the telephone.

“There are many affairs requiring your help,” Lin quoted Lai as saying, adding that the premier-designate also telephoned other KMT lawmakers.

Asked if Lai was “taking a soft stance,” Lin said: “It would appear so,” but added that it was only normal that Lai chose to interact with lawmakers that way, as he would not want the Cabinet “going to war” with the legislature over major bills.

The KMT lawmaker said that Lai also sent him a text message in which Lai informed him that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had nominated Lai as premier and expressed the hope that Lin would offer him advice on governance.

Asked whether he was concerned about Lai questioning lawmakers during question-and-answer sessions like he did when he was Tainan mayor, Lin said that Lai would have to decide for himself.

“The legislature is different from the Tainan City Council. It is the premier’s duty to be questioned by lawmakers. The KMT caucus will perform its duties of monitoring government agencies and serving the nation’s interests,” Lin said.

Lai would follow usual practice and visit members of each legislative caucus on Monday next week, Lin said, adding that he would ask Lai about his plans regarding issues the public is concerned about, including whether to amend the “one fixed day off, one flexible rest day” workweek policy, the nation’s energy policy and whether to reactivate the reactors at the Guosheng and Jinshan nuclear power plants in New Taipei City.

“When does the Cabinet plan to submit proposals to amend the ‘one fixed day off, one flexible rest day’ policy? Workers, employers and businesses are upset with it,” Lin asked.

Meanwhile, People First Party caucus whip Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said that the caucus would ask Lai about his opinions on how to govern the nation, what policies he has in store and how he intends to deal with “controversial” bills.

The New Power Party caucus said that it would ask the premier-designate about his stance on amending the Referendum Act (公投法), which Tsai vowed to complete by the end of this year, the bill on promoting transitional justice and the government’s proposed tax reforms.

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