Legislators across party lines took Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) Cabinet, including Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and Minister of Health and Welfare Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達), to task for the recent controversies over former MAC deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao’s (張顯耀) alleged leaks of secrets and the edible oil scandal.
The question-and-answer session at the legislative floor meeting after Jiang’s policy address, — which did not take place in the morning after the Cabinet head refused to apologize as requested by the opposition — saw lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle voicing anger over the recent oil scandal. They cited the Cabinet’s failure to make good on its promises made during the last food scare, which also involved substandard oil, and the government’s handling of allegations that Chang leaked information to China.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) questioned Jiang and Wang over Chang’s removal, during which Wang reiterated he was the one who decided to “advise” Chang’s removal and reported to Jiang and National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), who he believed “would and did report to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).”
Jiang at one point said he “does not think Chang will be completely cleared of the suspicion of information leaks,” adding that instead, it was only a matter of degree.
While Wang said the case is still under investigation and therefore he could not make a judgement on it, he said that none of the ongoing or recently completed negotiations on cross-strait agreements, including the cross-strait service trade agreement and the trade in goods agreement, “were presided over or supervised by Chang” so there was no need to revise the agreements.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said Wang’s remarks were contradictory, adding that if Wang had no idea, as he said, whether there were other accomplices in Chang’s case since the investigation is still ongoing, “how could [Wang] be 100 percent sure that all the cross-strait agreements are without problems?”
“How can the negotiation for the trade in goods agreement be implemented as it is stands?” Tsai asked.
Wang and Jiang called Tsai’s doubt a slippery slope fallacy, with Wang retorting: “So the government operation must come to a halt [because of Chang’s case]?”
On the recent oil scandal, both KMT and DPP lawmakers accused the government of poor governance and oversight.
Yang said the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification had lost all credibility and that the acronym has come to stand for “Give Me a Pass.”
Tsai said it now stands for “Grieving Mama and Papa,” because parents do not know what food they can provide that is safe for their children.
KMT Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) put on headwear in the shape of a dog’s head when questioning Jiang and Chiu, saying she did so because she felt her questioning since the oil scandal broke out last year has been like “a dog barking against a train,” which is a Taiwanese saying that means wasting one’s effort over something.
“I feel pathetic and would like to ask for a 30-second silence because all my questions today were no different from those I presented during the last oil scandal,” said Lu, playing a video clip showing Jiang promising to “thoroughly inspect all the oil manufacturing factories and GMP-certified ones.”
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