KMT challenges Tsai to end political fighting
The Kuomintang (KMT) caucus yesterday urged Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen ( ) to stick to her vow of “ending partisanship,” by encouraging the DPP to support the KMT’s legislative bills.
“We hope that Tsai will show her willingness to end partisanship now, instead of waiting until she is elected,” KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao ( ) stated. “If she doesn’t, then she’ll be cheating supporters of their vote.”
The aggressive stance that the KMT caucus took yesterday was seen as a way of emphasizing KMT presidential candidate Hung Hsiuchu’s ( ) first major policy announcement. Hung, on Sunday, announced support for a taxdeductible increase in salaries as a way to boost the economy. Tsai has launched a political reform platform that emphasized bringing an end to political partisanship, which was also announced on Sunday. KMT Legislator Lee Gui-min (
) criticized the DPP for blocking KMT bills that they claim would improve living standards, such as their bill to promote wage increases ( ). “Support for these bills will show whether she is serious in her bid to wipe out partisanship,” Lee stated.
“Increasing the minimum wage will affect 7.2 percent of the people,” Lee said, referring to the bill to encourage wage increases. “But Hung’s proposal could extend the proportion of people affected to 78.25 percent of people working in small and medium enterprises.”
Lai backed up Hung and Lee’s statements with statistics. There are 6.5 million workers earning a monthly salary of NT$35,000, Lai stated. “Give them a NT$1,000 pay raise, and enterprises will only need to cover NT$660, while the government will cover NT$340.”
“I don’t understand why Tsai would be against Hung’s proposal,” Lai said.
“Hard- working families will benefit from the reforms should the DPP agree and pass the wage increase bills.”
No to Partisanship
DPP presidential hopeful Tsai also announced her five political reform pledges on Sunday during her visit to the inauguration ceremony of a campaign office in Kaohsiung and published them to her Facebook page as well, emphasizing her promise to end political infighting that has plagued the Taiwanese political arena for years.
Her first pledge is to see the creation of an economy and society where the young generation can thrive, using a new economic development model and taking more young people out of unemployment, decreasing the mortgage burden and implementing pension reforms.
Tsai’s second pledge is to create a more efficient government. She claimed that the government has created a gap between itself and its citizens, causing an uncommunicative government. Tsai aims to see a transparent government in the future and hopes to create a “single service window” for higher efficiency.
to reform Taiwan’s institutions through new constitutional amendments, changing Taiwan’s voting system to “mixed member proportional,” a proportional election system used in countries around the world including Germany, New Zealand and a similar system is used in the UK’s devolved legislatures in Scotland and Wales. She also pledges to increase the number of at-large seats. Tsai also wants the speaker of the Legislature to be neutral, in a similar way to the UK’s speaker of the House of Commons, who resigns from his party once elected to the role.
Tsai’s fourth reform pledge is for her government to face up to the unjust policies and treatment inflicted upon the indigenous peoples of Taiwan and the victims of oppression, including those affected by the 228 incident and the “White Terror.”
Her last major pledge is to see the end of political infighting and polarity in Taiwan, which the KMT are using to urge Tsai to back their wage bills.
“The DPP will not breed political infighting,” if elected next year, Tsai stated. “A country’s leader has the responsibility to end partisanship and usher in a united nation.” Tsai, however, acknowledged this will likely be the hardest promise to implement.