Taiwan News: Former Education Minister Impeached, DPP Hacked

Taiwan News: Former Education Minister Impeached, DPP Hacked
Photo Credit: 教育部
What you need to know

Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

Listen
powered by Cyberon

The Control Yuan, the investigatory agency that serves as a government watchdog, has impeached former education minister Wu Maw-kuen on charges of violating the Public Functionary Service Act and the Act on the Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflict of Interest.

All 13 members of the government investigatory agency's examination committee voted to impeach Wu – in what is the first time such a vote has resulted in a unanimous decision.

The move comes some three months after the Control Yuan opened an investigation into allegations Wu stole patents belonging to National Dong Hwa University and used them to start a company.

Spiranthes Biotech was formed in California in 2015 and the Control Yuan said Wu knowingly violated the Public Functionary Service Act by investing in the company and placing the university's patents under the company's name.

The Control Yuan says Wu also violated of conflict of interest regulations by approving a special budget to cover the expenses he needed to apply for the patents to be registered.

Wu denies the allegations.

------------------

5b3b5871bae73
Photo Credit: DPP website
A screenshot of the Democratic Progressive Party's website after the hacking.

The ruling democratic Democratic Progressive Party's official website was hacked early Tuesday morning, with hackers posting phrases about President Tsai Ing-wen in simplified Chinese characters on the homepage.

DPP spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said the party's website is a frequent target for malicious attacks by hackers especially during and in the run up to elections.

The phrases included "Chinese netizens support the re-election of President Tsai Ing-wen" and "Tsai Ing-wen, we Chinese netizens love you."

The website has since been taken offline.

Although the hackers used simplified Chinese characters, the DPP says it will conduct an in-depth investigation to determine whether it was part of a systemic attack from China.

And the party spokeswoman said the DPP will now upgrade its cyber-security mechanisms.

-----------------------

The 33rd Convocation of Academicians of Academia Sinica has adopted a resolution in favor of university autonomy and is calling on the Ministry of Education to respect the results of the selection of university presidents.

The convocation approved the proposal with a vote of 80-44. The move comes amid ongoing controversy surrounding the election of Kuan Chung-ming as president of the National Taiwan University (NTU).

According to Academia Sinica, the ministry should respect the selection results and adhere to the University Act allowing university presidential selection committees to nominate candidates through a public process.

Academia Sinica President James Liao said the vote did not specifically target the Kuan case and the result only reflected academicians' support of academic freedom.

Kuan was elected NTU president in January. However, the Ministry of Education has since refused to approve Kuan's appointment amid allegations of plagiarism, conflict of interest and a flawed selection process.

Read More: Does NTU's Academic Autonomy Rally Reflect Democracy’s Failure?

---------------------

Outgoing American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director Kin Moy has been honored for advancing bilateral relations and says he remains confident that U.S. Taiwan ties will continue to grow.

Moy was awarded the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon honor, a civilian order that recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of the nation, from President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office.

Speaking after the ceremony, he said he accepted the award on behalf of all of the men and women at AIT who serve with such distinction.

Moy will step down from his later this month to be replaced by William Brent Christensen. And according to the departing AIT head, the de-facto American embassy staff are reassuring everyone on the island that "the U.S. will remain supportive of Taiwan."

---------------------

No damage or injuries are being reported following this morning's magnitude 4.6 earthquake that rattled the Taitung area.

The quake struck at 4:10 and was centered 28-kilometers north of Taitung County Hall at a depth of 12 km.

It was most strongly felt in the Chi-Shang District - where it registered a magnitude four on the Central Weather Bureau's intensity scale.

The quake registered a magnitude three on the scale in Taitung's Dong-Ho and Li-Dao districts.

And it was also felt in Kaohsiung's Tao-Yuan District - where it registered a magnitude two.

-------------------

Premier William Lai has reiterated the government's goal to develop in-depth tourism – saying there are plans to further integrate resources from both the central and local governments to promote the country.

Speaking at a tourism sector forum, Lai said the aim is to create a brand for Taiwan tourism and the central government will seek to work more closely with local governments to explore tourism resources in each city and county.

According to Lai, a new budget will be created to upgrade and modernize tourism facilities, as Taiwan must work towards making its travel destinations appealing to their respective target audiences.

Lai said foreign tourists can be roughly separated into groups from Europe and North America, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and China and the government will help the industry develop more distinct strategies for each of these markets.

Taiwan Visitors Association Chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan said more government resources should also be allocated to projects that attract Southeast Asian tourists, as the segment has seen significant growth under the New Southbound Policy.

Taiwan's efforts to promote itself as a tourist destination on social media were heavily criticized in April after several posts featured garbled English.

Read More: Taiwan's Online Tourism Marketing Spends Public Money for Nothing

-------------------

The majority of people who try to become internet celebrities in Taiwan fail to earn a decent income and eventually quit and get a regular job, according to online manpower agency 104 Corporation.

A recent survey of 315 former or current Internet celebrities who are members of the job bank found that 96 percent said they could barely support themselves with the income made through social media.

And of that number, nearly 70 percent abandoned their pursuit of internet fame just nine months after getting into online streaming or social blogging.

Nearly 60 percent of the Internet celebrities were less than 25 years of age, and three-quarters of them were females.

According to the job bank, the median income of the respondents through YouTube or blogging was NT$30,000 (US$984) a month.

The 3 percent of respondents who have been able to make a decent living as internet celebrities in Taiwan were largely young models or online show hosts.

Read Next: Taiwan's New Southbound Push Risks Duterte Drug War Complicity

This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor: David Green