Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) apologized to the public for the lard oil scandal after opposition parties boycotted his scheduled policy address yesterday morning on the first day of the new legislative plenary session. He again apologized in the afternoon during his policy address.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislators occupied the podium on which Jiang planned to present his policy address yesterday morning.
DPP lawmakers held up banners calling for Jiang to apologize and for Minister of Health and Welfare Chiu Wen-ta’s (邱文達) resignation, saying that food safety, safety in the construction industry and national security have been neglected during their terms.
They also called for the setting up of a document-requesting committee in the legislature.
TSU lawmakers’ banners read: “The public suffers because of an impotent president and a recycled waste oil Cabinet” and “Apologize first, report later.”
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators were well prepared as well, holding up placards asking the opposition to stop obstructing legislative procedure.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The standoff led to a closed-door cross-party negotiation, which had failed to reach a consensus by the end of the morning.
Jiang, when leaving the chamber for the noon recess without having made his policy address, was stopped by reporters and it was then that he first uttered his apology.
He said he was infuriated by a few food manufacturers or related businesses who sacrificed the health of the public and the nation’s reputation for the sake of their own profits.
“I’m here to offer my apology, as a representative of the government, to the public for the food scares over the past two years that have caused grave concern and dissatisfaction with all levels of government for the lack of its ability to secure food safety,” he said.
Jiang made the same apology again in the legislature when he made his policy address in the afternoon, during the first five minutes of which TSU legislators again raised their placards, prompting criticism from KMT legislators.
The apology was not offered at the beginning of the presentation, but during the premier’s policy address, which covered seven major policies on population, state-owned land, education, industry, social welfare, culture and health.
After bowing, Jiang said that companies found guilty of illegal actions would be severely punished and that the Executive Yuan had established a special task force to coordinate the response of different ministries and departments to the tainted lard oil case.
BREAKING RECORDS: Kuo Hsing-chun’s snatch, clean and jerk, and combined lifts were all Olympic records, although well off her combined world record Taiwanese weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳) yesterday completed her elusive quest for Olympic gold, clinching Taiwan’s first win at the Tokyo Games as she set Olympic records in the women’s under-59kg weight class. Kuo, who has not lost a major competition in her weight class since the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she was hampered by injury and finished third, finally chased down the gold medal that had long remained just out of her grasp. The 27-year-old finished with a combined lift of 236kg — 103kg in the snatch and 133kg in the clean and jerk — 21kg more
NEXT ROUND: About 1.44 million people who have registered online to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine are to get text messages today to book a vaccine appointment Strict border control measures, including a ban on foreign nationals entering or transiting through Taiwan, are to continue, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 10 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and no deaths. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said five of the cases tested positive during isolation or upon ending it. The sources of infection of eight cases have been identified, one remains unclear and one is under investigation, he said, adding that 87.8 percent of the people infected with COVID-19 since May 11 have been released from isolation. Chen said an
NO ‘ONE CHINA’ LIE: The appropriations act passed the US House of Representatives with a vote of 217-212, but still needs Senate approval and the president’s signature The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a foreign assistance spending bill with an amendment forbidding that funds be used to create, procure or display maps depicting Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. The amendment was introduced by five Republican representatives — Tom Tiffany, Steve Chabot, Scott Perry, Kat Cammack and Mike Gallagher — and passed unanimously in a bundle with a dozen other amendments. “This is a common sense measure,” Tiffany said, speaking on the House floor on Wednesday. “As we all know, Taiwan has never been part of communist China. The Taiwanese people elect their
THE HOME TEAM: DPP Legislator Kao Chia-yu said she canceled her booking for an AstraZeneca shot as soon as she heard that the Medigen vaccine was an option President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she would get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗). Tsai wrote on Facebook that she had registered for her first vaccine dose using the national online COVID-19 vaccination booking system, which allows people to indicate their preferred vaccine brand and to make an appointment when the shot becomes available. Tsai said that she opted for the Medigen vaccine — one of three now available on the system, along with the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines — even though Medigen has yet to deliver any doses or provide a