Amendment on postal name change blocked


TAIPEI, CNA

Four proposed amendments put forward by the Executive Yuan surrounding a name change for the state-owned postal service provider were blocked yesterday by opposition “pan-blue” lawmakers at the Procedure Committee under the Legislative Yuan.

The four proposed revisions were effectively killed by lawmakers of the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) who excluded the bills from the agenda of the Procedural Committee, meaning that they cannot be referred to the special committee for substantial screening. KMT lawmaker Kuo Su-chun criticized the government for wasting national resources on such pointless matters instead of devoting its energy to galvanizing Taiwan’s economy.

The government’s plan to alter the state-run postal service — already renamed Taiwan Post Co. from its previous designation, Chunghwa Post Co., in line with the Executive Yuan name change drive for state-owned enterprises and facilities — would downgrade the status of the public-run company to that of a local branch of China’s postal network, Kuo pointed out.

KMT lawmaker Alex Fei said that he refused to allow the four proposed amendments to pass the Legislative Yuan out of a strong dissatisfaction with the Executive Yuan’s unlawful actions in forcing the state run postal company to change its official designation without first acquiring legislative approval to do so.

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers Cheng Yun-peng and Hsu Kuo-yung, however, contended that all bills duly submitted to the legislature’s Procedure Committee should be referred to the special committee for substantial scrutiny.

In addition to the four proposals aimed at altering the postal company’s name, another bill amending the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law — specifically banning indicted individuals from taking part in presidential elections — was also frozen by KMT and PFP lawmakers.

The proposed amendment to the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law is widely believed to target former KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, who quit the KMT’s top job in mid February after being indicted on corruption charges over allegedly embezzling funds from a special municipal monthly allowance while serving as mayor of Taipei from 1998-2006.

Ma immediately announced his presidential bid following the indictment by Taipei prosecutors on Feb. 13.