Taiwan Quick Take


Thu, Aug 05, 2004 - Page 3

■ PoliticsKMT to focus on election

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Policy Committee Convener Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) yesterday announced six proposed bills that the KMT caucus will focus on in the upcoming provisional legislative session. Among the proposed draft bills were establishing an investigation committee to probe the March 19 shooting the president and vice president, assembling a committee to probe the activation of the national security mechanism which was launched following the March 19 shooting and amendment of the Constitution. Additionally, the KMT will focus on draft bills concerning the organization of the Central Election Commission (CEC), the proposed national communication council (NCC) and the Law Governing Legislators' Exercise of Power (立法院職權行使法), said Tseng, who made the report during the Central Standing Committee's weekly meeting yesterday.

■ Society

Firefighters pick coconuts

Firefighters in Chiayi were faced with a special assignment yesterday when they were summoned to a school to help pick coconuts to prevent them from falling and hitting pedestrians. There are more than a dozen coconut trees on the campus of the Peishing Junior High School and school authorities noted that because falling coconuts have in the past damaged vehicles parked under the trees, they were worried that a similar event could result in injuries to people. Ho Min-ping (侯閔評), a fire squad leader, said that he and his colleagues are used to dealing with swarms of wasps and having to catch snakes, but never thought they would be required to pick coconuts. Ho said that the firefighters used the mission as a chance to sharpen their skills in operating their fire truck and harvested more than 100 coconuts in the process.

■ Animal rights

Seminars planned

Young animal rights activists across the country will get a chance to meet each other and discuss animal protection strategies beginning Sept. 9 thanks to the efforts of the student group Dogs Obligate Guardians (DOG). The seminar next month will mark the first in a series of discussions targeted at animal-friendly youths aged 18 to 30. The series aims to increase awareness among younger Taiwanese about animal rights and interaction among animal rights activists, with a focus on Taiwan's stray-dog problem, said group members.

■ Bureaucracy

Salary hike considered

The Executive Yuan will decide by Aug. 12 whether to raise the salaries of military personnel, civil servants and teachers, the head of the Central Personnel Administration (CPA) said yesterday. CPA Director-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said that a screening committee for the salary hikes will meet in a few days to discuss the issue. The committee will take into consideration economic growth, price index changes, per capita income growth and changes in the private sector in making its evaluation, Lee said. Executive Yuan Spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said that the CPA has estimated that a 3 percent salary hike for the nation's 600,000 military personnel, civil servants and teachers will increase government expenditure by NT$18 billion (US$530.97 million). The last such salary hike was in 2001.