Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mayoral candidates yesterday said that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) plan to create 50,000 part-time posts to help retired civil servants whose pensions have been cut was “bribery through policy.”
Former KMT legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) said that the policy appeared to be a random idea and was only meant to win support by deceiving voters.
As the city government only allocated about NT$100 million (US$3.25 million) for the project, he asked whether each employee would be paid about NT$2,000.
DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said the project could constitute bribery through policy, adding that Ko should publicize the details of the project, rather than deceive retirees to win electoral support.
“If I were to offer 50,000 jobs, I would not give priority to those bastards who protested against pension reform and disrupted the Taipei Summer Universiade opening ceremony,” Yao said, adding that giving priority to retired civil servants would contravene the Constitution.
The criticism followed a comment on Monday by Taipei Department of Civil Servant Development Director Chu Chao-hsiang (曲兆祥), who said that after the pension reforms took effect on July 1, Ko told him and Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) to come up with ideas to help improve the living conditions of the retirees.
They proposed an “enhanced care for retired personnel” project that would create about 50,000 part-time jobs in the city government, with priority given to retired civil servants, Chu said.
However, Taipei City Government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) on Monday evening said that the city government had about 57,000 part-time jobs that would be open to everyone, but it would hold six discussion panels to collect suggestions before it posts the job offers.
Taipei Department of Labor Commissioner Lai Hsiang-lin (賴香伶) also said that giving priority to retirees might contravene the Employment Service Act (就業服務法) regulations against employment discrimination.
The Taipei Department of Personnel in a news release on Monday evening said that the jobs would include counseling, reviewing, auditing, after-school tutoring and substitute teaching, and funding would come from an allocated budget, and it encouraged anyone with relevant experience to apply.
Ko yesterday said that the job project was not a election ploy, but was aimed at showing compassion to retired city personnel.
If every policy he presented before the Nov. 24 elections was considered a bid to win votes, then “the whole city government should just sit and meditate all day,” he joked.
Retired civil servants would not be given priority when applying for the jobs, since that would be against the law, but their experience would probably give them an advantage, the mayor said.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last