KMT official urges party to boost Ma

By Jake Chung  /  Staff Writer, with CNA

Sun, Nov 04, 2012 - Page 3

Amid criticism that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) only employs people within his own circle and excludes outsiders, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) honorary chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday said he does not believe Ma plays favorites, but cautioned the party to pay attention to the relation between the criticism and the party’s diminishing support.

Wu made the remarks in a speech at the party’s 18th Central Advisory Committee meeting.

Stressing the importance of party unity, Wu called on the party to place its faith in the Cabinet and Ma, who is also the KMT chairman, adding that he was certain Ma’s ideals and motives for his policies were all based on justice and equality.

The party should not echo criticisms of the president voiced by its opponents, Wu said, adding that with such negativity, “a child, no matter how smart, could also become stupid.”

The timing of policy proposals, the methods and steps of policy implementation, the mobilization of party strength to its fullest and communication with the public are issues that the party must work on, he added.

At the meeting, some party members also called for reviews on issues such as the 18 percent preferential interest rate granted to retired military personnel, civil servants and public school teachers, the year-end pension bonus for retired civil servants, and the 13 percent bonus for retired financial staff to better meet the public’s expectations.

Chao Shou-po (趙守博), a party heavyweight and senior adviser to the president, suggested convening a meeting with various political parties to resolve the Labor Insurance and Labor Pension funds issue.

Real policies — not pandering ones — must be implemented to solve the issue, he added.

Meanwhile, another Ma administration policy, the capital gains tax on securities investments, also came under heavy fire at the meeting.

A signature drive — which Sean Lien (連勝文), a central committee member and son of former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) had joined — said that the tax would only engender more protests next year.

“Chairman Ma, only your opponents wish to see the implementation of the tax so they can keep lambasting you over the issue until 2016,” Sean Lien’s special assistant Hsu Hung-ting (徐弘庭) said.

Ma was seen taking notes, but did not make comments.

Additional reporting by Peng Hsien-chun and Shih Hsiao-kuang