Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fighting Legislatures Now At the City Council Level

God forbid that Taiwan's image abroad be given time to heal, as Taipei City council members went 15 rounds in the meeting yesterday.

Of interest to me personally, and indicative of some of the real issues driving the legislature, was this blurb:

Prior to reporting on "how to build Taipei into a healthy city," Ma responded to councilors' questions, in which DPP and KMT councilors were split on whether the issue of Feitsui Reservoir (翡翠水庫) should be of concern to the city government.

"Opening up access to the section between Pinglin (坪林) and Shiding (石碇) on the Taipei-Ilan highway will influence the water quality of Feitsui Reservoir," Ma said. "This concerns the rights and interests of the 8 million people in Taipei city and county. Of course it is the responsibility of the city government. I don't agree that it is only an issue for the Legislative Yuan."

The Feitsui Reservoir is one of the reasons Taipei city water is nearly drinkable straight from the tap. The government tightly monitors the watershed and prevents development in it. The area also benefits from a lack of polluting industries. Mayor Ma is absolutely right. The reservoir should be of the deepest concern to the city government, and it should do everything possible to prevent development in that region.

Of course, in addition to fistfights, no legislative session would be complete without its sex comedy:

During the question-and-answer session, an allegation that Bureau of Civil Affairs Ho Hung-jung's (何鴻榮) was having an affair with his secretary became another topic of controversy, as KMT Councilors Lai Su-ru (賴素如) and Wang Hao (王浩) both mentioned the issue.

What! Bundling with the secretary? That just never happens in Taiwan..... it's a good thing that the City Council has its priorities straight.....

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