MOI against po­ten­tial na­tional day off for Armed Forces Day

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

Law­mak­ers yes­ter­day passed a pre­lim­i­nary re­view of a draft amend­ment that stip­u­lates all R.O.C. na­tion­als can have a day off on Sept. 3, Tai­wan’s Armed Forces Day, to com­mem­o­rate and re­mem­ber the peo­ple who died while serv­ing in the coun­try’s armed forces.

The amend­ment to the Na­tional De­fense Act ( ), which added a new clause to give an ex­tra day off to all Tai­wanese na­tion­als on Sept. 3, was passed dur­ing the Leg­is­la­ture’s Na­tional De­fense and For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee ses­sion yes­ter­day.

The draft amend­ment still needs to clear the leg­isla­tive floor and be signed by the pres­i­dent be­fore tak­ing ef­fect.

Speak­ing dur­ing the com­mit­tee meet­ing yes­ter­day, rul­ing Kuom­intang ( KMT) law­maker Lin Yu-fang ( ), the ini­tia­tor of the draft amend­ment, said that cur­rently only sol­diers can en­joy a day off on Sept. 3.

He be­lieves that most Tai­wanese peo­ple are in­dif­fer­ence to­ward Armed Forces Day par­tially be­cause they do not en­joy an ex­tra day off.

To bet­ter honor mil­i­tary per­son­nel as well as com­mem­o­rate those who died de­fend­ing the coun­try, Lin pro­posed mak­ing Armed Forces Day a na­tional hol­i­day where ev­ery na­tional will take a day off.

He be­lieves the move can help to el­e­vate the so­cial sta­tus of sol­diers and make them feel a stronger sense of honor, which could also help to pro­mote the na­tion’s on­go­ing trans­for­ma­tion from the ex­ist­ing con­scrip­tion sys­tem to a full vol­un­tary force.

Though rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Min­istry of the In­te­rior ( MOI) re­spon­si­ble for ar­rang­ing na­tional hol­i­days ex­pressed a dif­fer­ent view dur­ing the same com­mit­tee ses­sion yes­ter­day, the KMT’s Chan Kai-chin ( ) con­vener of the ses­sion, still an­nounced the draft amend­ment’s pas­sage.

Mean­while, asked to com­ment on the bill, MOI Direc­tor of Civil Af­fairs Lin Ching-chi ( ) yes­ter­day told lo­cal me­dia that the lat­est amend­ment could vi­o­late a pre­vi­ous Leg­isla­tive Yuan res­o­lu­tion that im­posed a max­i­mum cap on the num­ber of days off in a year.

Ac­cord­ing to the res­o­lu­tion passed by law­mak­ers in 2000, the num­ber of days off in a year can­not ex­ceed 116 days, Lin said.

The MOI has al­ready an­nounced that there will be 116 days off in 2016. An­other day off on Armed Forces Day in 2016 would vi­o­late the res­o­lu­tion, he added.

He called on law­mak­ers to re­con­sider the draft amend­ment, adding that one does not need an ex­tra day off on Armed Forces Day to show re­spect to sol­diers.

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