by Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan rejected a demand from a Kuomintang lawmaker Tuesday to bow in front of the portrait of Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
The move came in the aftermath of a proposal by Democratic Progressive Party legislator Lawrence Kao to remove the legal requirement that such portraits be present in government buildings.
During a Cabinet question-and-answer session before the Legislative Yuan Tuesday, KMT lawmaker Chang Li-shan asked both Premier Simon Chang and Su bow three times in front of the Sun portrait.
While Su tried to prevent the incident, the premier still did what the lawmaker asked.
The legislative speaker said it was not suitable to be doing this during question time, because if in the future, each legislator made this demand from government officials, it would disrupt proceedings.
Chang Li-shan said the law had not been amended yet, so the legislative speaker should pay his due respect to the founder of the nation.
Premier Chang said it was alright for him to bow before the portrait, even though he was not sure what the official rules of the Legislative Yuan were concerning this action. He said his action did not imply any disrespect toward Su.
Sun founded the KMT and the Republic of China, but many DPP lawmakers and their supporters say he had nothing to do with Taiwan, which was under Japanese rule at the time, therefore the people of Taiwan should not regard him as their country’s founding father.