Taiwan’s Voice

Burned Bridges and No Ticket:

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman, Tsai Ing-Wen (蔡英文) formally invites President, Ma Ying-Jeou (馬英九) among the list of goverment nationals to attend the National Affairs Conference, to update themselves with the recent public opinion.

Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said on Feb. 13 that the DPP will invite President Ma Ying-jeou to attend the national affairs conference to listen to scholars’ advice and public opinion.

Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said on Feb. 13 that the DPP will invite President Ma Ying-jeou to attend the national affairs conference to listen to scholars’ advice and public opinion.

Friday, February 6, Tsai implored Taiwanese aged 30 to 40 to join in preparatory meetings for the National Affairs Conference to contribute ideas in reforming the country and party, together with the DPP in conducting an overall assessment of the government’s performance and plans in creating a Department of Social Movements (for view of Taiwan’s State and Social Movements under the DPP, please view through here).

Tsai instructs the party’s reform team to look into the establishment of a Civics Movement Department, however in doing so would require compromising the party’s organizational charter to face possible street protests as a reponse.

An anonymous party official elaborates: under Tsai’s reform plan (dating back to May 2008), within the initial five months of the year the party is directing their attention and efforts on gathering opinions, from all sectors of society and forging consensus, through discourse and discussion.

>>> 1991 National Affairs Conference (including such people as Mayhsing Yang, director of Asian Pacific Council on Democracy; Shih Ming-Te, active in Taiwan Democracy Movement of 1979; HungDah Chiu, Professor of Law – to name a few), documented and printed by the US Government Office in pdf, available here.  <<<

Tsai and Huang Kuen-Huei (黃昆輝), chairman of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), together came up with the idea for the conference, in a meeting this morning in Banciao of Taipei County, to listen to experts’ suggestions. Tsai reports that the DPP community is to send an invitation to the President: there is a problem in the community that the people feel the government may hold false judgement on the present economic downturn of events in the past few months.

(Photo, released by the Office of the President, dated September 19, 2004, the last held National Affairs Conference)  The president attended the Youth Conference on National Affairs and said, The voices of the youth are very much welcome and should be included in the process of the constitutional reform. Certain issues, such as that of the lowering of the age threshold for the civil rights, pertain to the level of constitutional issues, to which we should pay more concern.

(Photo, released by the Office of the President, dated September 19, 2004, the last held National Affairs Conference) The president attended the Youth Conference on National Affairs and said, "The voices of the youth are very much welcome and should be included in the process of the constitutional reform. Certain issues, such as that of the lowering of the age threshold for the civil rights, pertain to the level of constitutional issues, to which we should pay more concern."

The Problem: It is believed that there had been a passing of mal-informed, or false assesments that the government’s economic policies with tempromental political bandaid-solutions in mind, fail to catch-up with the current situation.  From their work, they can only hear what circulates through certain officials within their party, this conference will give them an opportunity to hear from a different side and hear as to what the affected citizens have to say. There is a fear for the future generation, when today’s outcome may have no hold.

The conference, Tsai says, is not to criticize the President, however is a review based on his performance and hear the problems directly affecting the people.  She believes that any government official should be eager to listen to the discontented and seek resources to correct and improve their policies.  They have no idea what everyday citizens are going through, this is the perfect time for the government to come in aiding the citizens and review how recent government aid has affected them.

DPP Deputy Secretary General Chen Chi-Mai (陳其邁) sent the invitation for the conference on February 21 -22, to the Presidential Office just this afternoon.

To Restore Political Culture: The Kuomintang (KMT), concerned of Tsai’s attempt to “unseat Ma,” have nontheless applauded the opposition’s agreement for meeting between Tsai and the President in November 2008.  The opposition sees the green party’s diverse view as an advantage, however looks down on their slow pace of compromise and consensus.  KMT party’s officials agree to seek social harmony, however state that communication and dialogues are essential: no outcome can be reached through reference to right or wrong.

Presidential spokesman Wang Yu-Chi (王郁琦) Friday responds in saying that the administration will find “an appropriate way to attend the conference” upon receiving the invitation and adds that Ma, in turn, wishes for Tsai to accept in attendance for a talk in the Presidential Office, as the exchanges should work both ways, promoting two-way exchanges between the two parties. The situation is unbalanced: Spokesman Wang reports that Tsai has declined the President’s offer for a National Affairs discussion for several reasons, however as to why, is still unknown.

The Source, Ma Ying Jeou:

President Ma’s calling for Taiwan’s diplomacy to prioritize economic issues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday, February 12, that it will increase their efforts to assist local business with opportunities abroad.

(Photo, courtesy of daylife)  isiting Taiwanese presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou, of the main opposition Nationalist Party, delivers a speech at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007. Taiwan should establish a free trade pact with Japan to boost bilateral, economic and cultural ties, Ma said Wednesday during a trip aimed at bolstering his relations with Tokyo.

(Photo, courtesy of daylife) isiting Taiwanese presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou, of the main opposition Nationalist Party, delivers a speech at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007. Taiwan should establish a free trade pact with Japan to boost bilateral, economic and cultural ties, Ma said Wednesday during a trip aimed at bolstering his relations with Tokyo.

With the fall of the NT, rise of Japanese (2008, the government gives out subsidies), Hong Kong (Taiwan holds no role in Hong Kong’s Constitutional development) and mainland Chinese tourism, the government aid could not come at a better time.

Shih Wen-Bin is the director-general of MOFA’s Department of Economic and Trade Affairs.  Shih explains that the Ministry is to aid the source of existing trade mechanisms to increase Taiwan’s export volume.  An example, the Ministry is to subsidize local business exhibiting the emerging markets, and country-allies; another form of aid is in coupling companies to attract foreign buyers at trade fairs, such as those in Saudi Arabia.

You Can Do It, We Can Help: Shih encourages Taiwan companies to explore business prospects within the government’s bilateral and multilateral cooperation schemes with foreign countries or organizations.  With other like-initiatives in mind, the ministry includes improving economic and trade relations with countries which Taiwan holds Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with, to increase foreign countries’ investments with Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.

The Turtle Loses the Race:

The President lets go of “incompetent” officials.  Wednesday, February 11, the Examination Yuan‘s proposed an ‘exit mechanism‘ to rid the government of the individuals, to which President Ma applauds – he expects the deduction to increase administrative efficiency and competitiveness.

“The quality of public officials is crucial in the competition among nations.  I think it is correct to have an exit mechanism for public officials, so that they will not treat their job as an ‘iron rice bowl,’ ” says Ma during a Presidential Office meeting.

(Photo, courtesy of CNA)  Lawmakers cast their ballots in a vote for the 20 nominees of the Examination Yuan July 11 at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

(Photo, courtesy of CNA) Lawmakers cast their ballots in a vote for the 20 nominees of the Examination Yuan July 11 at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Examination Yuan President, John Kuan (關中), promises to emulate the Singaporean model and propose a response to the slagging Civil Service System and improve performance.  In response, the president applauds and expects that between the Executive Yuan and the Examination Yuan, the two sectors should merge in protecting the rights of civil servants and to raise competitiveness in the public sector. (Please see related: Civil Service System in Hong Kong: Issues and Problems)

And the heads will roll.  Current regulations dictate that public officals are to be rated annually on a scale of one to 100, those applied under 60 points are requested on mandatory leave.  Kuan, however, proposes a stricter measure: to deduct individuals within 60 to 70 points for two consecutive years.  In supporting his offer, Kuan hilights and example of the Examination Yuan’s evaluating system: based on the Singaporean model, civil servants who fare poorly, in response to their lack of output, would receive little to no bonuses.

In stressing the importance of integrity, Ma explains, “Public trust is the most important asset of any government…  Corruption has the opposite effect and will only whittle down public trust [in the government].”

Billions To Offer:

The government is considering to scrape NT$70 billion from the National Development Fund to save a local chip sector company, Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM).  The Taiwanese company is reported to be one of those affected worst by the global economic crisis among Taiwanese exports, which have recently plunged by 40% in Janurary 2009.

(Photo, courtesy of CNA)  The Cabinet decides to expand the size of the National Development Fund from NT$200 billion (US$6.01 billion) to NT$1 trillion to increase government investment to help the economy.

(Photo, courtesy of CNA) The Cabinet decides to expand the size of the National Development Fund from NT$200 billion (US$6.01 billion) to NT$1 trillion to increase government investment to help the economy.

MOFA is extending a rescue package, due by the end of February.  Economic minister, Yin Chi-Ming explains the situation of withdrawing funds as being one of the options, however may not be necessary, varying on the situation and predicted circumstances to the economy.

The Problem: Taiwan’s DRAM sector was one step behind of its largest rival, South Korea.  An academic of Taiwan Institute for Economic Research (TIER), Yang Chia-Yen explains that local aid would hold a more responsive outcome than foreign: assistance from prominent allies like Japan or United States was indispensable to upgrade the local industry.

Yang warns that withdrawing from the National Development Funds would not benefit, if spread to support the entire sector: only prospective companies should receive assistance.  To fund only one particular sector is too high of a risk for the government to involve in.

Yan predicts that if upon receiving government aid, other sectors follow in suit, to claim for support.  He suggests, instead, “a transparent set of guidelines” for the use of funds from the National Development Fund.

Created in 1973, the Fund  first investment was in supporting key sectors such as petrochemicals and semiconductors during the early economic developments.  More recently, it has aided contemporary sectors like biotechnology, digital content, optoelectronics and telecommunications, to name a few.


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~ by Lan on 2008 FriUTC2009-02-13T17:14:04+00:00. 15.

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