Former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) yesterday added his voice to criticism of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) actions against Legislative Yuan Speaker Wan Jin-pyng (王金平), saying it was disappointing to see Ma’s features “constantly distorted by hate.”
On Aug. 30 Special Investigation Division (SID) Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) informed Ma of alleged influence peddling involving Wang, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) and High Prosecutors’ Office prosecutor Lin Shiow-tao (林秀濤).
Speaking at a seminar organized by Taiwan Brain Trust yesterday, Lee said the judiciary system needed reform.
Ma’s handling of the current crisis was not appropriate, Lee said.
The situation involved two different investigations, one in which Ker was sentenced to six months in prison for breach of trust and violating the Business Accounting Act (商業會計法), and the other where Ker was suspected of having accepted bribes and peddling influence in a 2010 High Court judges’ bribery case.
The Taipei District Court gave the SID, then looking into the bribery case, permission to wiretap Ker in 2010. The case was closed and the wiretap approval rescinded on Sept. 5 when the SID confirmed that Ker had not been involved in the judges’ bribery case.
The Supreme Court handed back the breach of trust case for retrial earlier this year, recommending Ker be found “not guilty,” but during the wiretap period the SID recorded a conversation between Wang and Ker in which Ker said he hoped the prosecutors would not continue litigation, and Wang replied that Tseng would take care of it.
Tseng tendered his resignation on Saturday.
On Monday Ma accused Wang of peddling his influence and said he had brought “shame on Taiwan’s judiciary and democratic history.” Yesterday he added that “Wang was no longer fit to carry on as Legislative Speaker.”
Commenting on Ma’s “uncharacteristically” tough line and active participation in the matter, Lee said, “I hope that our president can maintain his customary smile, and take us to a greater future, instead of wearing a face distorted by hate all the time.”
Lee also said that the Taiwanese public still believed in what Ma can achieve and still had hope, but also added that Ma’s recent record was very disappointing.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of