‘No position’ on hall transformation

By Lee Hsin-fang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Thu, Jan 31, 2019 - Page 3

The Executive Yuan has not set any pre-established positions regarding the transformation of Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億) said yesterday ahead of interdepartmental discussions that are to take place after the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Ministry of Culture at the end of last year delivered two proposals to the Executive Yuan on the transformation of the hall, but neither suggests demolishing it, Lin said.

The proposals mainly differ in their approaches to the functions the hall would serve and the supplementary measures that would be adopted after the transformation, he said.

The ministry and the Transitional Justice Commission are among the government agencies that are to join the discussions, Lin said, adding that there is no timetable for the hall’s transformation.

As no interdepartmental discussions have been held on the issue, the government needs to gather the opinions of various agencies and figure out how to handle the task, he said.

Apart from internal discussions, the government might also invite non-governmental groups, he added.

The transformation might also involve branches of the government other than the Executive Yuan, as it has been suggested that the Legislative Yuan’s offices be moved into the memorial hall, Lin said.

The Executive Yuan would need to communicate with the Legislative Yuan on areas that involve it, he said.

The central government would also need to take the Taipei City Government’s views into consideration regarding arrangements for the site after its transformation, he added.

In response to former vice president Annette Lu’s (呂秀蓮) suggestion on Tuesday that the memorial hall be converted into a space to honor all former presidents, Lin said that the suggestion was also made last year when the ministry was gathering opinions on the topic and that it has been included in the ministry’s proposals.

Officials are leaning toward transforming the hall into an exhibition space, said people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity.

Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, a plan for the transformation is unlikely to be finalized soon, they added.