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KMT under fire from own lawmaker
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-16 05:07 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Ma Ying-jeou’s apparent attempts to reform the Kuomintang he chairs came under fire from its own lawmaker Lin Kuo-cheng Wednesday for being wrong and insufficient.

Ma on Tuesday said he wanted the ruling party to change its structure and to pay more attention to public relations, the Internet, and young people in general. The call for reform came after the 24-day occupation of the Legislative Yuan by students opposed to Ma’s trade-in-services pact with China and after former Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen looked certain to regain her leadership of the opposition.

Lin said the KMT suffered from five grave problems, namely that party leaders did not take responsibility, there was room for only one kind of opinion within the party, there was no attention to training a younger generation, the party paid no attention to Southern Taiwan and infighting was just continuing.

Lin called on Ma to launch thorough reforms, preferably also by organizing a party forum. After the student occupation ended April 10, voices inside the opposition DPP called for a party affairs conference to discuss reform strategies.

During the president’s reform talk Tuesday, only about 20 out of 65 KMT lawmakers were present, according to the Chinese-language United Evening News.

On the DPP side, incumbent chairman Su Tseng-chang had decided not to run for re-election after the student movement, but on the KMT side, nobody had taken responsibility for the ruling party’s defeat, Lin told the newspaper. He called for the dismissal of the party officials in charge of public relations and organization because those had failed to deliver any satisfying performance during the student occupation.

Ma needed to sit down with people voicing different opinions from his own, but the legislative caucus had turned into a single voice, according to Lin, who said the anti-Ma feelings running through society were quite deep.

The KMT lawmaker said the students, researchers and assistant professors who led the Sunflower occupation movement could well turn into future leaders and politicians for the opposition, while during his six years in power so far, Ma had failed to produce a new generation of KMT politicians despite setting up a youth department in 2008.

Lin also lambasted falling support for the KMT in the south, where only three ruling party lawmakers had been elected in an area inhabited by 5 million people. The president never paid attention to opinions from Kaohsiung, Tainan and Pingtung, Lin complained, adding that he had tried to meet Ma to discuss labor issues but had given up after no interview had been arranged after more than a month.

According to the United Evening News, Lin also attacked Ma for his attitude toward Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. At Tuesday’s meeting, the KMT chairman said he wanted the party to stand together and promised he would cooperate with Wang on important issues, but on the other hand, Ma had still ordered party attorneys to launch an appeal against the speaker.

Last September, Ma threw his weight behind prosecutors’ accusations of alleged influence peddling by Wang and pushed for the revocation of his membership. After a Taipei District Court ruling deciding that Wang was still a KMT member, the party announced last week it would file an appeal against the decision. Ma reportedly argued the appeal was necessary because otherwise all previous expulsions by the KMT could be questioned.

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