Culture Minister: Ideology behind student movement too shallow
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-03 10:58 AM
Asked her opinion of the Sunflower movement during an interpellation in the Legislative Yuan Wednesday, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai first noted that she “loves these young people and what they have accomplished through their concern over CSSTA.” She then turned around and said that it is time to review the aims and achievements of the student movement itself.

Lung pointed out that the student protest has produced some stunning developments: the superb organization that has driven and supported the movement, the meticulous division of labor, the points advocated by the group’s leaders, and incredibly breathtaking images from the past two weeks. Lung said that in comparison with what has taken place in almost 60 years of social movements in Taiwan, the Sunflower social movement should probably rate a grade of close to 100 points, and the students can be very proud of themselves. She added, "I love these young people, I would really like to have them in the Ministry of Culture.”

CSSTA is a different story, however, said Lung, noting that it is time to let others handle the trade pact. She said the students have done their work and now it is time to review the student movement itself, which she said was "very weak at the ideological level." She added that she is very much in favor of students legitimately expressing demands in a peaceful manner, but she is not in favor of continued occupation of the Legislative Yuan. She said that as a government official she must ask the young students to "Please give the Assembly Hall back to the Legislative Yuan."

Lung also appealed to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to do what he can to restore order to the Legislative Yuan so she can get back to working with legislators.

Meanwhile legislators questioned the motives behind Public Television’s decision not to re-broadcast a program featuring student leader Lin Fei-fan as well as its dropping of Garden of Hope CEO Chi Hui-jung as the host of a series on NGOs in Taiwan.

Legislator Cheng Li-chun chastised Lung for forgetting her roots as a writer. Cheng said Lung does not understand that the occupation of the Legislative Yuan is an act of civil disobedience designed to show dissatisfaction with the government and wondered whether Lung’s political ideology might be even shallower than that of the students.

Cheng said the Ministry of Culture itself need to examine whether it is also an accomplice in the administration’s “executive dictatorship,” Cheng asked, "While the trade agreement was being negotiated did the Ministry of Culture explain anything to the people? Did the Ministry of Culture say anything to those in the arts community? Did the Ministry of Culture explain anything to the Legislative Yuan? Legislators only saw an impact assessment report, maybe two or three pages at most, and the minister did not attend any public hearings. It’s still the same old black box treatment and an unwillingness to acknowledge the students’ response."

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