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.
A debt dispute between a restaurant owner and a criminal ring might be behind a bizarre cockroach attack at the Taipei eatery on Monday night while it was hosting a police gathering, Taipei Police Commissioner Chen Jia-chang (陳嘉昌) said yesterday. Preliminary findings of a police investigation into the case at the G House Taipei suggest that the unusual incident might have been directed at the restaurant’s owner, who allegedly owes money to the Bamboo Union, Chen said. The suspects were Bamboo Union members and there was no evidence indicating that the cockroaches were targeted at the police officers at the restaurant, he
Taiwan’s armed forces should closely monitor China’s development of a new tanker aircraft, as it would significantly boost the Chinese air force’s capability to carry out long-range raids, a military expert said on Wednesday. Ou Si-fu (歐錫富), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said in an online article that China is developing a tanker variant of its Y-20 military transport aircraft, known as the Y-20U. The Y-20 has a maximum take-off weight of 220 tonnes and the tanker variant is expected to carry up to 60 tonnes of fuel, more than three times the maximum
QUARANTINE BLUNDER: The government should be responsible for a cluster infection at a hotel, as the cases have caused panic, DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen said The Ministry of Transportation and Communications should make it mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, as well as their family members, to be vaccinated in view of a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, lawmakers said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. The cluster infection at the hotel had led to 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including hotel workers, as well as China Airlines flight and cabin crew, and their family members. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday tightened quarantine requirements for pilots and flight attendants, who must quarantine
‘CLARITY AND RESOLVE’: The US has notified Taiwan, China and Japan regarding its stance against a unilateral change in the Taiwan Strait, Jake Sullivan told a forum The US opposes any unilateral action that would alter the “status quo” across the Taiwan Strait, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday. “What we would like to see is stability in cross-strait relations and no effort to unilaterally change the ‘status quo,’” Sullivan said during a virtual forum organized by the Washington-based Aspen Institute. The administration of US President Joe Biden has already communicated that message to China and affirmed it to Taiwan, as well as to its partner Japan, he said. The US’ position on the matter is straightforward, which means that it believes in the