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Dec 6, 2007

Ma promises to replace characters at gate of CKS

Ma promised yesterday that if elected, he would undo any changes the executive branch has made to the gate at CKS memorial hall.

My only question is, if the Executive Yuan never had the right to change it in the first place, on what authority can Ma do anything to change it back?

A reader noted that the DPP overrid the legislature with an executive order to change the name. The situation is slightly more complicated, but still very controversial, so I'll paste what seems to be a pretty fair history of the renaming process from Wikipedia:

The Memorial had been listed as a "third tier" landmark on the government's
list of protected heritage sites. The Executive Yuan subsequently demoted the
Memorial Hall to a "fourth tier" landmark, enabling changes to be made to the
hall without Legislative approval. The Executive Yuan said the name change
complied with laws stating that fourth-tier landmarks may be modified by the
Executive Yuan directly via Organic Regulations, rather than via Organic Acts
which require the approval of Legislature.
Taipei's city government, controlled by the KMT, responded by designating the
27-year-old hall and its surrounding walls a "temporary historical site" to make
alterations to the structure unlawful according to city ordinances.
[7] ...

The legality of the Executive Branch's move has been disputed by the
Pan-Blue Coalition.
Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said: "According to the Constitution, any
administrative order that goes against an existing law is invalid. So if the
Legislature has not yet abolished the organic act of the CKS Memorial Hall,
which has the same legal status as law, the newly proposed organic regulation,
which is an administrative order, is invalid." The
of the Republic of China
gives only the Legislature the power to enact,
amend, or repeal laws.
KMT legislators contend that the move by the Executive Yuan encroaches upon the
powers of the Legislative Yuan, thereby violating the separation of
powers. ...

On June 7, a joint meeting of committees in the Legislative Yuan repealed the Ministry of Education's Organic Regulations of the National Taiwan Democracy Hall that established the name change[3]. The move effectively voided the legal basis for the change, though pan-Blue legislators refrained from declaring the new name dead or the old one preserved. One legislator involved in the repeal was quoted as saying the final designation for the hall remained a political issue to be resolved through political means. [17] Wang Shu-hui, DPP deputy caucus whip, said that the legislature had "infringed upon the power of the central government by abolishing measures governing organizations under its jurisdiction".[18]
On 2007 Nov 6, The Council of Cultural Affairs officially designated the memorial hall and its surrounding park a national historic site, which puts control over alterations to the site in the hands of the central government's heritage bodies.[19]

So there you have a brief history of this issue. Who's right on the procedural question? Beats me.

Note that the KMT must complain about the procedural side of this issue, and not the name change itself, because they no longer dare not say anything defending Chiang Kai-shek himself but still require the votes of those who were brainwashed into worshipping him.

Reports indicate the government will start physically taking down the characters tomorrow morning at 8:00 am.

On a sad note, there have been several clashes at the hall today and one violent incident when a passing motorist slammed his car into a truck decked out by the Taiwan Independence Alliance. Several journalists were injured.

It wasn't like this at all, apparently (video). There was not necessarily a political motive for the situation at all. A blue truck driver came up next to the Taiwan Independence Alliance truck and had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting two guys from the TIA who were standing on the street. One of those two men immediately came up to the driver's open window and started to push him around, a crowd of reporters and others instantly surrounded the car, and the driver hit the gas to get away, running over a cameraman who got caught and dragged under the car about ten meters. The guy hit the gas another two times, continuing to try to get away, even when the police were the ones trying to drag him out of the truck. Finally, the police pulled him out.

The driver was also slightly injured by the crowd that tried to beat him as the police pulled him out of the vehicle, and the driver proclaimed innocence, saying he thought he was being robbed and was just trying to get away.

The story is weak, and his supposed reasons for being in Taipei or that part of the city are not holding up under scrutiny, but if you ask me it did look pretty crazy and I can see him only hitting someone out of panic.


David said...

I was at the gate tonight (6 Dec) at around 9:30pm. The four characters 大中至正 were still in place. There was only a small crowd probably less than a hundred. There were a few diehard protestors, but mostly curious onlookers and media. The atmosphere was one of anticipation. It just seemed that people wanted to witness a moment in history.

The gate and the entire Hall area is barricaded with barbed wire. There were quite a few police there, but they seemed relaxed and people were posing for photos with them.

阿牛 said...

Thanks for the insight!