Infighting within the National Women’s League surfaced yesterday as members of the league’s so-called “hawkish” faction urged league members to vote against signing an administrative contract with the government, which would see the organization’s dissolution, at a members’ meeting today.
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, league Standing Committee member Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) drew a parallel between the online movement against sexual harassment MeToo and a joint investigation by the Ministry of the Interior and the Cabinet’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee over the league’s alleged link to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
“At a time when the world is paying attention women’s rights issues, it is heart-wrenching to see a government led by a female president persecute the nation’s first women’s political group,” said Pan, a former KMT lawmaker.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
The league was neither a KMT affiliate, nor was it funded by illegitimately obtained party assets, Pan said, urging the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to refrain from labeling the league as such simply because it was established in 1950 by former president Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) wife Soong Mayling (宋美齡), who led the league for decades.
According to the contract, the league is required to apply for its dissolution within four months and donate 90 percent of its total assets, or about NT$34.3 billion (US$1.17 billion), to the state coffers, Pan said.
“Would inking the unclear, unfair and unjust contract really protect the league from further persecution?” Pan asked, adding that the league should defend its rights in court rather than giving them up without a fight.
According to a memorandum of understanding signed by the league’s new chairwoman Joanna Lei (雷倩), the ministry and the assets committee on Dec. 29 last year, the league has until today to sign the contract.
Failure to do so would result in a renewed government probe into the league’s alleged links with the KMT and its use of the Military Benefit Tax — a tariff levied on the US dollar value of all imported goods from 1955 to 1989 — that provided most of the funding for the league’s charity work.
The contract has divided league members into a “hawkish” faction, allegedly led by former league chairwoman Cecilia Koo (辜嚴倬雲), and a “pacifist” faction headed by Lei, who succeeded Koo last month after the latter was removed by the ministry for refusing to sign the contract and failing to provide detailed information regarding the league’s use of the tax.
Lei on Monday called for unity and expressed pessimism over the league’s future amid allegations that the hawkish faction plans today to smother the contract by asking as many league members as possible to sign a power of attorney to obtain their voting rights.
Koo’s attorney, Chi Pei-ching (稽珮晶), yesterday said Koo has maintained her opposition to signing the make-or-break contract, as doing so would not answer questions of whether the league was affiliated with the KMT or if it was funded by ill-gotten party assets.
“It would only damage the league’s legacy,” Chi said.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with