Civic groups yesterday accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of using the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) as his “personal tool” for political persecution and jeopardizing the nation’s constitutional system. They called for the division to be abolished.
While influence peddling by politicians deserved condemnation, Ma’s open attack on Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who was allegedly involved in lobbying the judiciary, is a more serious concern, the representatives of various groups said yesterday.
Lawyer Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said Taiwan should learn from the experience of South Korea, Germany and the US, which have all abolished agencies similar to the SID.
By commenting on Wang’s alleged lobbying and demanding that he be removed, Ma breached his responsibility under the Constitution, Taiwan Democracy Watch spokesperson Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told a press conference.
Ma, who is chairman of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), another KMT member, had both prioritized party politics and ignored the constitutional order with their public comments about removing Wang from the legislative speakership, Hsu said.
“Judicial lobbying is intolerable, but due process is necessary in holding lobbyists accountable,” Hsu said.
“We believe the president, premier and prosecutor-general [Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘)] have all damaged the nation’s constitutional order through excessive wiretapping and surveillance as well as by violating the separation of powers. This [situation] is not acceptable,” Hsu said.
At a separate press conference in Taipei, representatives from pro-independence groups said Ma’s insistence on removing Wang was suspicious because the president could have his eyes set on more ambitious goals.
For Ma, Wang had to go because as speaker he had failed to get the cross-strait service trade agreement through the legislature, Taiwan Society president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said.
“With a new speaker, it would be easier for Ma to pass the agreements on trade in goods, culture and the top prize — a peace agreement — in the future,” Chang said.
NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom has taken to social media to urge Jeremy Lin (林書豪) to “stand with Taiwan” and stop taking “dirty Chinese Communist Party money.” “Haven’t you had enough of that Dirty Chinese Communist Party money feeding you to stay silent?” Freedom wrote on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday. The 29-year-old Boston Celtics center, who took a new surname when he became a US citizen on Monday last week, urged Lin: “Stand with Taiwan! Stop bowing to money & the Dictatorship.” Lin, a US citizen of Taiwanese descent who last year obtained a Taiwanese passport, has not responded to Freedom. Lin is
PAST CATCHING UP: Raphael Lin was last year convicted of intimidating his girlfriend at the time, and in 2015 allegedly confined his parents and assaulted his mother Doctoral student and media commentator Raphael Lin (林秉樞) is in detention and has had his communication rights limited after he was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly subjecting Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) to two days of violence in a hotel room, the New Taipei District Court said yesterday. The New Taipei City Prosecutors’ Office had filed a request to detain Lin — who was Kao’s boyfriend at the time of the incident — with the court approving the request early yesterday. The prosecutors’ office said that it is likely to charge Lin with seven offenses: assault causing bodily harm, violating
A COVID-19 vaccine trial carried out in Taiwan has found that a combination of the AstraZeneca and the locally developed Medigen vaccines is more effective than two doses of AstraZeneca, the research team said on Saturday. The trial, which was initiated by Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, examined 100 people aged 22 to 62 divided into two groups: One group was vaccinated with two AstraZeneca doses, while the other received a first dose of AstraZeneca and a second dose of Medigen, team leader Chen Chih-jung (陳志榮) said. The geometric mean titers (GMTs) of neutralizing antibodies in the mix-and-match group after 10 days were
Toads are a symbol of prosperity and good fortune in Taiwan, but the unexpected discovery of an invasive species has officials and environmentalists scrambling to contain their spread. With flashlights in hand and shielded by protective gloves, dozens of volunteers from the Taiwan Amphibian Conservation Society worked through the night searching rice fields and vegetable plots for their quarry — the cane toad. There should be no reason for these large and highly toxic amphibians to exist in Caotun (草屯), a township in the foothills of the central mountain range. Cane toads are indigenous to South and Central America, and while they have