Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday shrugged off accusations that his call to replace police department chiefs after nightclub brawls was directed at cities and counties governed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Su on Wednesday at a Cabinet-level social security meeting said that “special entertainment businesses must not sell narcotics or be involved in fighting or killing. There must not be any brawling at their front doors.”
“Special entertainment businesses” are nightclubs or bars that offer bar girls or prostitution.
Photo: Hsieh Chieh-yu, Taipei Times
“If a fight breaks out in front of a bar or nightclub, the police chief of that city or county should be replaced,” Su was quoted as saying.
Although he did not name anyone, Su’s remarks came just hours after three melees in Kaohsiung and a few days after a fight at X-Cube, a Taichung nightclub, in which nine people were injured.
The remarks sparked anger among police, with some saying that a chief could be targeted by hiring people to brawl outside a nightclub, reports said.
Ahead of a question-and-answer session at the legislature yesterday, Su fielded questions from the media regarding whether his remarks were aimed at KMT mayors.
“I demanded that bars and nightclubs not turn a blind eye to drug dealing, homicide, fighting or drunk driving, activities that the public hates,” Su said. “The owners think that the police are indecisive and the government is incompetent, which has led to the prevalence” of drug dealing, fighting and homicide.
“The owners are not ordinary citizens. I want to tell them: Do not underestimate the government’s resolve,” he said.
Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said that he objected to Su’s warning to police chiefs, as it burdens them with tremendous mental pressure.
The municipal government can only ask police to step up efforts to carry out unannounced inspections of bars and nightclubs, as the implications of replacing a police chief whenever there is a brawl are too great, Han said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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