Cabinet must stop focusing solely on nuclear issue: DPP

REMOVE THE BLINDERS::Ahead of a visit by the premier to the Gongliao plant, the DPP urged the Cabinet to devote its focus to other national issues

By Lee Hsin-fang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 - Page 3

Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) plan to lead journalists to inspect the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) tomorrow is merely a political ploy and a waste of time that could further aggravate the controversy over nuclear energy, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

Following his proposal to defuse the growing controversy over whether to complete or suspend the power plant’s construction through a national referendum, Jiang is scheduled to lead a media tour of the plant and its equipment tomorrow.

The premier is also scheduled to hear a report detailing security inspection plans for the Gongliao plant.

“The Cabinet should direct its focus toward more important issues at a time when the nation is beset with challenges in the areas of education, economy, epidemic prevention, pension reforms and transport infrastructure development,” DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference in Taipei.

“The Cabinet should not let the nation remain entangled in the controversy surrounding the power plant, particularly after a majority of the public has been clearly leaning toward halting the plant’s construction,” Lin added.

The DPP spokeman called on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to have the courage to “let go of the power plant.”

Urging Jiang to learn to prioritize and deliberate national affairs thoroughly, Lin said that the public expected the government to address issues concerning the development of the nation, including reforming the state pension system and the 12-year compulsory education program; dealing with rising university tuition fees and the monopolization of the media; tackling delays in the opening of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line and the Wugu-Yangmei overpass (五楊高架橋); ensuring the effectiveness of pidemic prevention measures; and securing regional trade agreements.

“It will be fairly disappointing if the government sets aside all the aforementioned issues and chooses to devote all its energy and time facilitating the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant,” Lin said.

“Also, what is the point of [Jiang] listening to the report when he has already taken a position [on the nuclear plant]?” Lin asked.