The political furore over the president's "state affairs fund" and the Taipei mayor's "special allowance fund" illustrates the need for constitutional reform, said the former vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council.
"Political infighting targeting the president would be less brutal if the government system were changed to a parliamentary system," said Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), a professor at National Taiwan University's Graduate Institute of National Development. "It is equally important that the administration establishes a better system to tackle problems caused by justice in transition."
Chen made the remarks at a forum held by the Taiwan Thinktank to discuss the controversies involving President Chen Shui-bian's (
The forum is the fourth of a series of panel discussions on problems caused by transitional justice.
As Taiwan has transformed itself from an authoritarian to a democratic state, Chen Ming-tong said the problem caused by the president's and Ma's expense funds were a perfect example of justice in transition.
During a transitional period, Chen Ming-tong said justice does not necessarily have to be "absolutely fair" but can reach the level that is "unsatisfactory but acceptable."
He proposed that those involved in the fund controversies apologize to defuse political tensions. Those guilty of inappropriate accounting, but who did not pocket any money, must be granted amnesty, he said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said that the controversy involving the two political leaders' expense funds should be handled at the same time and with the same standards.
In the national interest, Kuan called on Ma to treat the controversy involving his "special allowance fund" as a case of transitional justice rather than a personal legal matter.
She was referring to Ma's donation of funds to charities on Friday. Ma said he had decided to donate a sum equal to a portion of his special allowance in order to quell criticism that he had embezzled funds.
Meanwhile, Kenneth Lin (林向愷), an economics professor at National Taiwan University, criticized the Cabinet's new measure requiring receipts detailing all expenditures from the funds as "inflexible" and "a step backward."
Chen Chun-kai (
It is important to establish a system that prevents officials from engaging in corruption, but it is equally important to keep the system practical, feasible and efficient, he said.
"You spend so much time collecting receipts that you have very little time left to do other things," he said. "It is an unbelievable waste of time."
Taiwan from Thursday is to reinstate visa exemptions for passport holders from 65 countries. Mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers is to be lifted on Oct. 13 , when restrictions on inbound and outbound tour groups are also to be lifted. The following is a list of answers to common questions regarding how the new regulations are to affect inbound international visitors Which passports will have visa-free entry privileges? Eleven more countries on Thursday are to join 54 countries that were given visa-free privileges on Sept. 12. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Chile, Israel and Nicaragua can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days without a visa. Taiwan is also to resume 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Malaysia. Passport holders from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines are to be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days visa-free. Taiwan on Sept. 12 resumed 90-day visa-free entry for passport holders from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New
PRIDE AND FURY: Supporters of the Taiwan People’s Communist Party sang in Tainan, while Taiwan loyalists in Kaohsiung vowed to ‘protect Taiwan until death’ Two small Taiwanese groups at the far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked the National Day of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with flag raisings and flag burnings — opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait. Oct. 1 marks the day that Mao Zedong (毛澤東) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with the defeated Republic of China government fleeing to Taiwan at the end of that year, where — after democratic reforms — it remains to this day, neither recognizing the other. China’s national day is not officially marked in any
Adolescents aged 12 to 17 can start receiving the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine from tomorrow, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that the second phase of inoculations using Moderna’s bivalent vaccine would begin next week. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that the Novavax vaccine can be administered to adolescents aged 12 to 17 as their primary series of vaccines or as a booster shot. It also allowed a mix-and-match approach. The Novavax vaccine is a good choice for eligible recipients who are worried about possible adverse reactions from other COVID-19 vaccines, said
‘CONSENSUS’: The CECC would brief the Cabinet on its reopening plans if data show that a local outbreak proceeded as it had predicted, Premier Su Tseng-chang said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) could announce today that it would fully reopen borders on Oct. 13, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday. Su in the morning inspected Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to check if airport personnel were prepared to cope with an expected rise in passenger volume today, when the weekly cap for international arrivals would increase to 60,000 people. The requirement for a saliva-based polymerase chain reaction test upon landing is also to be waived. The CECC last week announced that a zero-quarantine policy for international arrivals could be implemented from Oct. 13, depending on the local