More than 500 complaints filed against FoodpandaBy Yang Mien-chieh and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writerFood delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Another 14 were due to order cancelations, nine were related to the quality or quantity of food, eight concerned the service of delivery workers and 11 were related to other issues, it said. Before placing an order, consumers can consult lists local governments publish online of corporations that have failed to attend mediation sessions without proper reasons, it said.
A provisional legislative session should be held late next month before or after the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus secretary-general Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) said yesterday. Premier Su Tseng-chang, eighth right, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, seventh right, and others gather on the floor of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Friday, the last day of the legislative session. Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei TimesIf lawmakers decide to hold an extraordinary session, the DPP caucus would respect the opinions of opposition caucuses regarding what items to deal with, he added. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus neither favors nor opposes an extraordinary session, but believes that some bills could wait until the next regular session, KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said, adding that, as a minority, the KMT caucus can only passively respond to the DPP’s proposals. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) caucus whip Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) said that it would be appropriate if an extraordinary session is held in two weeks.
Han ditches presentation to inspect vegetable farmsStaff writer, with CNAKaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday chose not to attend a televised presentation ahead of a recall vote against him, and instead visited vegetable farms devastated by torrential rain. The recall vote is to be held on Saturday next week. Photo: Hsu Lee-chuan, Taipei TimesThe presentation was held at 9am by the Kaohsiung City Election Commission, and broadcast live on local television and the commission’s YouTube channel. During yesterday’s TV presentation, Chen Kuan-jung (陳冠榮), the lead organizer of the recall vote, said that Han should have attended the presentation to explain to voters why he should not be recalled, and that his absence merely proved his “anti-democratic” way of approaching things. Chen urged people to vote to remove Han from office.
Nantou to establish certification system for Aboriginal foodsBy Tung Chen-kuo and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writerNantou County’s Indigenous Peoples’ Bureau is working on a certification system to recognize roasted pig made in the traditional manner of the county’s Aborigines. A training course is to be established in Sinyi Township (信義) to train Aborigines in the traditional technique, the bureau said earlier this week. The certification process would not only confirm proper roasting technique, but would also recognize proper food safety management, among other aspects of food preparation, it said. However, food stalls at the county’s night markets have begun selling food items that they falsely claim to be traditional Aboriginal foods, it said. Therefore, it was important to establish a certification system to protect the development of Aboriginal industries and to ensure that visitors are getting what they pay for, it added.
Taiwan R&D expenditure ranked thirdELECTRONICS BOOST: Corporate spending, particularly in the manufacturing sector, has become the driving force behind Taiwan’s gross domestic expenditure on R&DBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterTaiwan’s gross domestic expenditure on research and development (R&D) is ranked third-highest in the world as it reached 3.36 percent of total gross domestic product, or NT$616 billion (US$20.55 billion), in 2018, the Ministry of Economic Affairs Department of Statistics said in a report yesterday. Taiwan’s gross domestic expenditure on R&D closely followed Israel’s and South Korea’s, which remained the top two spenders on R&D at 4.9 percent and 4.53 percent respectively in 2018. Corporate spending has become the main driving force behind Taiwan’s gross domestic expenditure on R&D, making up 80.3 percent of total expenditure, on a level with that of South Korea, ministry data showed. Taiwanese companies’ R&D spending in the service sector only made up 8.2 percent of total corporate expenditure on R&D. However, Taiwan’s spending on applied research increased 8 percentage points from 2017 to 2018, contributing 23 percent of total expenditure.
HPA eyes ban on vaping, heated tobaccoBy Lin Hui-chin, Wu Liang-yi and Dennis Xie / Staff reporters, with staff writerThe Health Promotion Administration (HPA) yesterday announced draft amendments to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防制法) that would ban the local sale and manufacture of vaping devices and novel tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The agency said that it drafted the amendments to provide a legal basis for the regulation of products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products — also known as non-combusted cigarettes — which are not included in the act. One amendment would raise the legal age for smoking and the minimum age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 20, it said. A survey released on Thursday by the agency found that smoking among young people and vaping rates increased last year. The smoking of cigarettes and e-cigarettes by junior-high and high-school students last year increased for the first time since the act took effect in 2009, HPA Tobacco Control Division Director Chen Miao-hsin (陳妙心) said.
The action, Su added, showed how that model, promoted by the KMT in tandem with China, was a lie. The KMT yesterday also issued a statement condemning Su’s remarks, asking him on what grounds he had made such an accusation and demanding an apology. During his previous stint as premier in 2006 and 2007, Su had proposed a refugee act to cover people from China, Hong Kong and Macau, the KMT said. Su now objects to such an act and he has no plans to amend the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), it said, adding that Su was “consuming” the Hong Kong issue. Commenting on China’s legislation for Hong Kong, Chiang said it is apparent that Beijing did not communicate well with Hong Kong.
Answering student requests, NTNU revises anthemBy Wu Po-hsuan and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerNational Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) on Thursday said it is amending the lyrics of the school anthem ahead of its centennial celebrations in 2022, adding that any changes would be nonpolitical and a result of a consensus among students, the faculty and alumni. The main gate of National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei is pictured on April 9. This is a point of contention across generations of NTNU students, Ko said. The project would maintain the utmost neutrality and seek a consensus among faculty, students and alumni, he added. A university alumnus, surnamed Feng (馮), said that they have not even heard, much less sung, the school anthem.
The legislation was passed by China’s National People’s Congress on Thursday, bypassing review by the Hong Kong Legislative Council, exacerbating the situation in Hong Kong and posing a threat to the freedoms and safety of Hong Kongers, the statement reads. Legislative Speaker You Si-kun reads a statement by lawmakers from across party lines at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. Taiwan would, on existing mechanisms and the condition that its security can be upheld, provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers whose freedoms and safety have come under threat, it reads. Separately, independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) announced the launch of the Taiwan Parliament Group for Hong Kong (台灣國會友好香港連線), which 48 lawmakers from across party lines have joined. Lam thanked the president and Taiwanese for their support of Hong Kong.
791 at 4pm, several groups gathered outside the Judicial Yuan in support of the decision, including the Awakening Foundation, the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation and the Taiwan Gender Equality Education Association. In a press release, the Awakening Foundation said that the ruling protects a person’s sexual autonomy, privacy and dignity from being compromised in a marriage. The ruling could be a blow to victims of adultery who seek justice by invoking the Criminal Code, but criminal punishment should not be the answer, as it cannot force a person to remain in a marriage against their wishes, the statement said. Decriminalizing adultery is not tantamount to agreeing with adultery, it added. Without the support of the Criminal Code, people betrayed by their partners would only be more disadvantaged, as they have fewer resources to claim compensation, he added.
Taiwan will resist ‘one country, two systems’: premierBy Sean Lin / Staff reporterPremier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that Taiwan would steadfastly resist Beijing’s “one country, two systems” framework and vowed to defend the nation’s democracy. The government would reject Chinese attempts to belittle Taiwan by imposing its framework on it, he said. Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei TimesIt would closely monitor the situation in Hong Kong, provide people there with humanitarian assistance, and invite Hong Kong capital and professionals to Taiwan, he said. The government has prepared to welcome Hong Kong companies, capital and talent in many areas, Su said. Separately, Taiwan criticized the Chinese government for commemorating its 2005 passage of a law authorizing “non-peaceful means” to prevent Taiwanese independence.
Grand Justices decriminalize adulteryDETERRENT DEBATE: Lawyers were divided over whether the rules that were cut helped protect families, while one justice disapproved of Interpretation No. Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li, center, who also chairs the Council of Grand Justices, announces Constitutional Interpretation No. Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei TimesThe interpretation was issued after 18 judges and a man convicted of adultery this year asked the Council of Grand Justices to overturn Interpretation No. The processes would begin immediately to amend the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, officials said. Lawyer Huang Lu-fang (黃祿芳) said that the Criminal Code article has limited deterrent effect and abolishing the laws would not affect families.
Advantech founder’s son joins boardBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterAdvantech Co Ltd (研華), the world’s biggest industrial PC maker, yesterday said that shareholders have approved the addition of Wesley Liu (劉蔚志), son of company founder K.C. Wesley Liu heads systems integration unit Advantech Intelligent Services Co Ltd (研華智誠). In his nine years at the company, he was also an industrial control engineer, sales representative and assistant manager. Advantech board member Wesley Liu, right, speaks at the company’s annual general meeting in Taipei yesterday, as his father, Advantech chairman K.C. Advantech forecast a sequential sales increase this quarter of between 19.6 percent and 24.9 percent to between US$450 million and US$470 million.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Joanne Ou gives a briefing at the ministry in Taipei yesterday. “Thank you to all of our friends in #Brazil for your kind congratulations, and I hope you are all staying safe & healthy. Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right, and democracy is a mutual value shared by Taiwan and Brazil, she said. As of yesterday, 275 dignitaries from 49 nations and international organizations, including presidents, prime ministers and lawmakers, had sent congratulatory remarks to Tsai for her inauguration, she said. As Brazil adheres to a one China policy, it does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but the two nations maintain unofficial ties through representative offices.
Entertainer Fanny Liu gestures in Taipei in this file photo. “What I’m doing here is not vote-buying, but rather it is intervening in the elections with Chinese capital,” she wrote. A Taiwanese Facebook user saw the post and passed a screenshot of it to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office. After an investigation confirmed the payment, prosecutors charged Liu with vote-buying. Liu said the NT$1,000 was to cover the cost of taxi fare to the polling station, they added.