A lawmaker yesterday called for progress on plans to transform the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall into a public space, suggesting that it be converted into a “dictator history park” (獨裁者時代公園).
At a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) said that the venue in Taipei could be converted into a “dictator history park” to educate the public and as reminder of Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) brutal autocratic rule in Taiwan, as his regime’s White Terror era spanned four decades.
“I call on the commission to adopt this change... there is nothing wrong with it. Everybody in the world knows that Chiang Kai-shek was a dictator,” he said.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Transitional Justice Commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠) said that a cross-agency task force has been set up to deal with the matter and the commission would continue to discuss the matter with the Ministry of Culture.
Tabling the commission’s report on transitional justice within judicial agencies, she said that official documents have revealed that 70 percent of chief judges were card-carrying members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) during the Martial Law era.
Yang said the documents showed that prior to 1992, among the 119 chief judges who had served as Judicial Yuan president, or headed its Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission, “83 ... were confirmed KMT members.”
The information came from documents from the Judicial Yuan, and a requisite from Academia Historica on files from offices of head commissioners who headed up the Military Affairs Commission, which listed the chief judges’ curricula vitae and their party registration, she said.
The report also found that during the KMT’s rule, party officials abused their power to place party members in government ministries and agencies, and manipulated the justice system, Yang said.
A study is under way on KMT membership among the chief prosecutors and prosecutor-generals prior to 1992, or during the Martial Law era, she said, adding that the current report focused on past Judicial Yuan presidents and chief judges who headed up its Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission.
As an example of the KMT dictating judicial agencies’ policies, she said that the files contained an official letter sent from the KMT Central Committee, giving instructions to then-Judicial Yuan president Hsieh Kuan-sheng (謝冠生).
“The letter was addressed to ‘Party Comrade’ Hsieh Kuan-sheng, Convenor of Political Affairs Unit at Judicial Yuan. It was not addressed to Hsieh as Judicial Yuan president. This is clear evidence that Chiang ... as the nation’s president and the KMT’s leader was giving orders, and that Hsieh received ... instructions as a KMT member,” Yang said.
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