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CKS memorial formally given new moniker

Premier Su previously lowered facility's status which bypassed hurdle of legislative approval

CKS memorial formally given new moniker

The Cabinet yesterday formally renamed the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in a continuation of its campaign to erase any vestiges of the late dictator from contemporary society.
The move to change the name, however, sparked criticism from the opposition Kuomintang, which claimed the government was wasting valuable resources and had overreached its authority.
To change the name, the Cabinet abolished the "Organic Act of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Management Office" and passed an organic regulation renaming the park "Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall"
Cabinet spokeswoman Chen Mei-ling said Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) had already approved the new regulation on April 13, which lowered the administrative status of the hall by one tier to level four.
The regulatory status of the park is crucial because critics believe any change to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall's organic act must be approved by the Legislature.
But according to Chen, the 2004 "Basic Law of the Organization of Central Government Agencies" mandates that third and fourth tier government organizations can be governed by "organic regulations" that fall under the jurisdiction of the central government rather than by "organic acts," which require legislative approval.
Under questioning from reporters, Chen asserted that the Legislature would have no right to interfere in the organic regulation governing the newly named park because it was a fourth-tier government organization. She also insisted that the facility would not be operating under two conflicting laws.
"The former CKS Memorial Hall Organic Act will not coexist with the current Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall organic regulation," she said.
Chen indicated that the organization in charge of the Hall - the Ministry of Education - will hang a new name plate on the facility after a new organic regulation is issued.
"The Ministry of Education considers the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as the originating point of Taiwan's social and student movements, so Taiwanese people can come here to commemorate Taiwan's difficult road in becoming a democratic nation," Chen said at a press conference yesterday.
In the future, the park will be seen as a showcase of Taiwan's democratization, displaying related stories and historical materials and promoting democratic education.
The Kuomintang responded to the move by reproaching the government for putting its political interests ahead of the public interests.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) described the Democratic Progressive Party-led government's decision as careless. The Taipei City Government, he said, would have to waste more than NT$8 million to change the name on signs in nearby MRT stations and bus stops.
"The Legal Affairs Committee of the Taipei City Government will study the possibility of not changing the name of the signs in nearby MRT stations and bus stops," Hau added.
KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said the name change was another unnecessary DPP step to remove former President Chiang Kai-shek from Taiwan's history.
"The government should adopt proper policies to realize democracy, rather than constantly change the names of some specific buildings," he said. "If changing the name of the CKS Memorial Hall could make Taiwan a more democratic country in substance, then I will support it. However, everyone knows that it (renaming) is symbolic and unrealistic," he concluded.
People First Party Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) argued that the government's decision was unconstitutional.
"According to the Constitution, any administrative order that goes against an existing law is invalid. So if the Legislature has not yet abolished the organic act of the CKS Memorial Hall, which has the same legal status as law, the newly proposed organic regulation, which is an administrative order, is invalid.


Updated : 2021-10-21 16:34 GMT+08:00