Aboriginal legislators slammed the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) during the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee meeting yesterday over a delay in proposing Aboriginal bills.
Their attack came as council Deputy Minister Wang Shun-fa (王順發) reported on the council’s projects for the next fiscal year, along with officials from other government agencies, including the Ministry of the Interior and the Mainland Affairs Council.
Besides promising to provide more employment opportunities for Aborigines, the council has delayed four legislative proposals.
“We [the council] are studying all different versions of the Aboriginal autonomous region bill. We will then call meetings with academics, experts, Aboriginal leaders and representatives from the government agencies concerned to discuss the matter, and draw up a plan on proposing bills on Aboriginal autonomy,” Wang told the lawmakers.
Wang said the council was still studying a bill to protect Aborigines’ rights to their traditional knowledge, one to define Aboriginal traditional domains and an amendment to the organic statute of the CIP.
“There is no consensus at this time, we need more discussions, need further studies — I suppose that means we won’t be able to get into the actual legislative review stage for these important bills during this session,” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chien Tung-ming (簡東明) said. “Now you’re putting everything back to zero!”
Most of the bills had been submitted by the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, but had yet to complete the legislative process because of disputes over details, he said.
Wang said the delays were the result of the CIP trying to make the bills acceptable to everyone. Chien remained unconvinced.
“It’s impossible to make a bill 100 percent acceptable to everyone, but if we don’t start reviewing them and debating on them, the bills can never become law,” Chien said.
“It’s written in the Aboriginal Basic Law [原住民族基本法] that relative laws should be passed within three years,” People First Party Legislator Lin Cheng-er (林正二) said. “That deadline has passed, but where are the other laws?”
“You talk about resolving the differences, reaching consensus and bridging the gap between Aborigines and non-Aborigines [before submitting bills to the legislature] — do you think it would convince the public?” Lin said.
Wang refused to give a timetable, promising only to “accelerate the process,” but Lin and Chien asked the CIP to at least submit something during this session.
Other KMT lawmakers also complained about the government’s lack of action.
“Voters are complaining that we legislators are not doing anything, but the fact is we have no laws at the Internal Administrations Committee to review,” KMT Legislator and committee convener Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進) said.
“The problem now is that the Cabinet under the leadership of Premier Liu Chao-shiuan [劉兆玄] is inactive, they talk more than they do,” Lee said.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide
A solo exhibition by Taiwanese artist Lee Kuang-yu (李光裕) at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay has generated considerable attention since its opening last year, including from Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍). Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders early last year, domestic tourism in Singapore has soared at destinations such as the popular Gardens by the Bay, a nature park in the city-state’s Central Region. Since the venue’s reopening in August last year, “A Sculptor’s Secret Garden,” a solo exhibition of Lee Kuang-yu’s work curated by Tan Hwee Koon (陳慧君), has been been especially popular. Originally scheduled to close today, the show