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Nov 18, 2008

Two reports to start off your afternoon

I saw a related article in the Liberty Times yesterday, and the Taipei Times carries a related article for us today with some more information:

KMT legislator says he was threatened by COA

By Flora Wang And Meggie Lu
Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008, Page 3

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus secretary-general Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) yesterday accused the Council of Agriculture (COA) of asking gangsters to threaten him over a proposed freeze of the council’s budget requests.

Legislators have proposed freezing a NT$2 billion (US$60 million) COA annual budget request intended for subsidies to farmers’ associations or agricultural groups.

KMT Legislator Hsiao Ching-tien (蕭景田) said he had found that the COA could decide whom to give the grant to without having to invite public bids and that COA officials or retirees served as board members of 35 of the organizations that had received grants in the past.

Hsiao then proposed that the COA be required to establish a complete set of screening processes for the grants and oblige the council to report the screening mechanism to the legislature before the budget request would continue to be reviewed....

“The council asked gangsters to threaten to withdraw election support [for me] if [I] didn’t withdraw my proposal,” Chang said.

“The council should do what a government branch has to do and persuade legislators that the budget would be spent on taking care of the public,” Chang said.

Hsiao, who also said he had been pressured, criticized the council’s actions as “inappropriate,” saying the council should communicate with lawmakers through “normal channels.”
As Maddog pointed out to me, Chang seems to have accidently admitted that gangsters have regularly supported the KMT caucus secretary-general in previous elections. The Chinese language report from CNA, the fairest wire on the island, bear this theory out (他說‧‧‧怎麼可以去找外面的「兄弟」恐嚇立委若不撤凍結案,選舉時就不支持立委?). Chang also said here that this sort of thing used to happen under the DPP administration, but he's just shocked a KMT-led Executive Yuan council could do the same thing. Good job, KMT-gangster complex!

Second: Chinese-language blogger Tseng Wei-chen (曾韋禎) has found the map of the route devised by the SEF/ARATS team, which renegotiated the line the DPP had been planning with the stated purpose of "replacing the roundabout path with a more direct path." Result? A path that's actually 42 nautical miles longer, and doesn't even LOOK more direct.


Haitien said...

Looks like the DPP path would have required flights to straddle the boundary with the Fukuoka flight information region (FIR), while the KMT version keeps everything in the Shanghai and Taipei FIRs.

The political and security implications of not having flights pass near or through Japanese airspace are left as an exercise for the reader.

阿牛 said...

A very fine observation!

Taiwan Echo said...

Thanks for sharing the info, a-gu.