Cashing in on their numerical advantage once again, opposition lawmakers at a joint committee meeting yesterday blocked the proposed name change of Chiang Kai-shek (CKS) Memorial Hall and resolved to refer the education minister and his deputy to the Control Yuan for impeachment.
The ministry unveiled a plaque bearing the name National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall last month, but the Taipei City Government argued the ministry had no right to do so. It has since engaged in a legal fight with the ministry over the hall's name.
The meeting, jointly held by the Organic Laws and Statutes Committee and Education and Culture Committee, got off to a bad start when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Tuoh (王拓) proposed postponing the review of two new organizational codes for the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall until the abolition of the law governing the CKS Memorial Hall comes before the committee.
PHOTO: LIU HSIN-DE, TAIPEI TIMES
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Joanna Lei (雷倩), who chaired the meeting, said it would make more sense to tackle one bill at a time.
DPP Legislator Wang Sing-nan (
Lee announced a break for negotiations, but Lei disappeared when DPP committee members began to indulge in tirades.
Lei did not return until 10:25am and immediately called a vote on the DPP motion. Committee members voted 14 to 13 against the motion.
Amid a disturbance among committee members, Vice Minister of Education Chou Tsan-der (
Pan-blue lawmakers argued that using funds for the renamed hall that had been earmarked for the hall under its previous name was illegal. The new title, they added, was illegitimate as it had not been approved by the legislature, which in turn invalidates the bills.
The education ministry, on the other hand, argued that the new title was not subject to legislative approval.
The bills seek to define the duties and authority of hall administrators under the hall's new title.
Lei called another vote on KMT Legislator Kuo Su-chun's (
DPP members then swarmed forward to the podium, complaining about various issues ranging from the voting procedure to the committee's authority to review the bills.
When Lei called another vote to decide the fate of the two proposed bills, committee members voted 13 to 4 in favor of striking them down.
While pan-blue lawmakers were clapping, cheering and praising Lei's "judiciousness," pan-green members pounded their tables and called her an "autocrat."
The committee passed a resolution referring Chou and Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) to the Control Yuan for impeachment. The Control Yuan, however, has been inactive for more than two years since opposition parties refused to confirm President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) nominees.
In response, Tu criticized the committees for expanding legislative power.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (
DPP lawmakers later requested a reconsideration of yesterday's review of the two bills.
As a result, they will need to be reviewed again when the joint committee is next convened.
Given the reconsideration request, the pan-blues would not be able to send the two bills to the plenary session for second and third readings before they are tackled by the committee.
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih,
Max Hirsch and Shih Hsiu-chuan
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Monday said he would not attend the official Double Ten National Day celebrations for the first time this year, as its English name, “Taiwan National Day,” implies “Taiwan independence.” Writing on Facebook, Ma said he has attended every National Day celebration since entering public service 40 years ago, but “with an exceedingly heavy heart,” has decided to reject this year’s invitation. For the past three years, the government under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has used “Taiwan National Day” for the event’s official English-language title, leaving the “Republic of China” nowhere to be found, he said. The move
RUNWAY UPGRADES: Airports and ports mainly scattered around southwestern Japan are being given major overhauls, primarily serving as civilian-use facilities Japan has chosen 33 airports and ports as candidates for improvement to enhance military capabilities, with a particular focus on infrastructure that could be utilized in a Taiwan emergency, according to a recent report in Japan’s Nikkei Shimbun. Citing the Japanese government’s fiscal budget proposal for next year, the newspaper said Toyko is to name some facilities as essential bases and receive funding for upgrades in line with the revamped national security strategy published last year. According to an unofficial policy document drafted last month and reviewed by the Nikkei, the Japanese government designated 14 airports and 19 ports for improvement, including