President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration should exercise caution in its handling of a proposed anti-infiltration bill, academics said yesterday, adding that such legislation should not be hastily implemented, considering the maturity of Taiwan’s democracy.
“While the president has said that there is room for discussion regarding the bill, there really is not,” Tamkang University Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies associate professor Li Da-jung (李大中) said at the seminar hosted by the Association of Strategic Foresight in Taipei.
The definition for “infiltration” could vary significantly and might be interpreted in various ways, which could usher in a chilling effect and undermine protection for human rights, he said.
Such legislation is detrimental not only to cross-strait relations, but also to human rights, he added.
“At this point in our democracy, this kind of law should not be hastily implemented, as it would only lead to further polarization of the public,” Li said.
The US has yet to make its opinion on the bill known, because it is still being reviewed, but that does not mean that its passage would strengthen US-Taiwan relations and mutual trust, National Chengchi University Department of Diplomacy associate professor Lu Yeh-chung (盧業中) said.
“On the topic of the bill, McCarthyism and its resultant effects must also be considered,” Lu said, adding that whether the bill would truly be able to protect democracy and freedom of speech should be further debated.
Separately, the Legislative Yuan issued a notice to convene all legislative caucuses at 2pm today to review matters pertaining to the bill.
Officials from the Ministry of the Interior, the Mainland Affairs Council, the Central Election Commission, the Ministry of Justice and the National Security Bureau have been invited to the meeting.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said on Facebook that he hoped the caucuses could rationally debate the issue.
The DPP’s version of the bill has been amended three times, in accordance with public opinion, showing that the party cares about what the public thinks, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said.
On the other hand, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has refused to discuss the issue since the DPP broached the subject on May 31, Wang said, adding that it was the KMT that has shut down channels of communication.
The bill clearly defines contraventions as accepting money from foreign or enemy forces; campaigning, holding a referendum or lobbying for them; and disrupting gatherings or processions on their behalf, he said.
The KMT, as a mature political party, should resume negotiations and read the draft legislation, instead of being afraid over nothing, he added.
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of