The Breakfast Club

On July 27th of 2013, Bi-Khim was invited to be a guest speaker for The Breakfast Club in the Legislative Yuan. Bi-Khim began her speech by introducing the most fundamental  information of the legislature to the audiences, and then went into the discussion of issues that many foreigners living in Taiwan or even just those who have interests in living in Taiwan have questions and concerns about.

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Bi-Khim has been elected as Member of Parliament for three terms up to this point which are about a period of 10 years spent in the Legislative Yuan. Bi-Khim first explained the structure of the Legislative Yuan.

“The Legislative Yuan mainly consists of committee and plenary sessions which happen on Tuesdays/Fridays and Mondays/Wednesdays/Thursdays, respectively, and every legislator can only vote in the committee in which he or she is a member of, but all legislators can certainly attend any committee meetings to question representatives of the government and make bill proposals”  Bi-khim said.

In addition to the committee meetings, Bi-khim also talked about the role of co-chair inside the committees; that is, co-chair is responsible for agenda-setting, the priority of bill-reviews, and whom from the executive branch are to be asked to make report.

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One thing that some of the people in the meeting were curious about was the way Taiwanese Legislators campaign for (re)election or get public support. “When I see the legislator representing my district is not in the Parliament but in the district attending weddings, funerals or other local activities, I would be thinking that he or she is certainly not doing his/her job”, one of the questions that was raised.

Bi-khim responded: “I hope Taiwan will one day move into that ideal state but unfortunately it is currently not the case in Taiwan. People here in Taiwan want their elected legislators to be accessible, and they would not vote for you if you cannot even do them a small favour”.

“While these local activities might not necessarily produce a large societal progress but they are important for maintaining grassroots’ supports, and the sentiment which constituents have is understandable to certain extent. Thus, we need exceedingly professional staffs and assistants who are capable of doing research and digesting the knowledge gained into more profound legal changes which is what the legislators were originally elected for” Bi-khim concluded.

A number of interesting questions that were also raised after Bi-khim’s comprehensive introduction were, Citizenship Law, Refugee Law and Asylum-Seekers from China, etc, which are also the issues that Bi-khim has been working on. Bi-khim addressed these topics by explaining the status-quo of them, why changes are essential for Taiwan, and last but the least- what the difficulties we have at the moment are. (For more information, these issues are explained in further detail under the section of Human Rights of this website)

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