Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), yesterday said that he supports the purpose of the anti-infiltration bill proposed by the Democratic Progressive party (DPP), but its content requires further discussion before it is passed.
The DPP has said it aims to pass the third reading of the draft on Dec. 31. It advanced to a second reading last month.
The 12-article draft would subject those who disrupt the social order under the command or at the request of “infiltration sources” to a prison term of up to seven years or a fine of NT$5 million (US$165,508), and prohibits anyone from donating to a political party, influencing elections, proposing the recall of a government official or launching a public referendum on the instructions or with the financial support of an “infiltration source.”
Photo: Chang Ching-ya, Taipei Times
“The intention behind drafting the act is okay,” Ko said yesterday on the sidelines of a campaign event for TPP legislative candidate Hsieh Wen-ching (謝文卿) in Taichung.
“For sure everyone supports the idea of preventing foreign infiltration from influencing Taiwanese politics and elections, so I support the purpose of the act,” Ko said.
However, the key point to consider is that the act would regulate Taiwanese citizens and businesspeople in China, so there should be adequate discussion about possible problems enforcing the law, he said.
Photo: Cheng Ming-hsiang, Taipei Times
Ko said when he made a similar remark on Friday, some reports and people online described him as being against the act, which he thought was “misleading.”
Ko on Friday said that the bill should not be passed without sufficient discussion, because if it was passed without a clear understanding on how it would be enforced, it would make many Taiwanese citizens feel anxious and worry about whether they were breaching the law.
Separately yesterday, People First Party Chairman and presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) said he disagrees with the draft.
“More than 2 million Taiwanese businesspeople are working hard in China to make a living for their families,” he said. “They are all our fellow citizens and should not be viewed as enemies.”
“If cross-ministerial coordination, sufficient understanding or verification of accusations cannot be achieved, allowing the act to be passed in such a hurry will affect the government’s credibility and be unfair to innocent citizens,” he said.
There is less than a month until the elections, which would represent what the latest public opinion was, so arbitrarily trying to pass the draft at this time would be controversial, Soong said.
He urged the DPP not to insist on passing the bill hastily for election gains, saying that the party should exercise restraint or it could face unsettling consequences.
Additional reporting by Cheng Ming-hsiang
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