KMT disruption on pension bills likely

Pension reform proposals are in the final stage of legislative review, but the process is expected to be lengthy if the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) stalls proceedings with lengthy speeches as the legislature’s extraordinary session continues this week.

A cross-caucus understanding has been reached that KMT lawmakers would be given full opportunity to put forward their opinions during reviews, KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) said on Saturday.

However, KMT lawmakers have often made bogus or irrelevant comments during review proceedings, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said, adding that he would negotiate with KMT lawmakers to preempt lengthy and unnecessary speeches since the remaining clauses to be reviewed are mostly over technical issues that are not seen as controversial.

The draft act on civil servant pensions has 92 clauses, while a bill on public-school teacher retirement benefits has 96, and another on political appointees has 37.

However, the legislature on Thursday and Friday last week only managed to review 43 clauses of the civil servant pension bill.

The passage of all the remaining provisions would not be completed without a full week of lengthy reviewing if the KMT insists on initiating clause-by-clause debates.

Under the terms of the bills, the pension system for teachers would be identical to that of civil servants except for a difference in the stipulated retirement age.

In 2010, during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) tenure, a draft act was submitted to amend the Statute Governing the Retirement of School Faculty and Staff (學校教職員退休條例) and raise the retirement eligibility from the “75 system” — which allows teachers to retire when their age plus years of service equal 75 — to an “85 system.”

However, it did not pass and the 75 system is still in effect.

The average retirement age of public-school teachers is 53.67, lower than the 55.89 for civil servants and 61.1 for private-sector workers.

According to the bill — formulated following the recommendations of the Presidential Office’s pension reform committee, the 75 system would be gradually changed to the 85 system by 2027, with an annual increment of one year in retirement eligibility to extend the retirement age of public-school teachers to 60.

For university professors, the retirement age would be extended to 65 by 2033.

The KMT caucus has proposed keeping the retirement age of elementary-school teachers at 55.

However, since 2011, the average age of teachers beginning service is 29, and their retirement age would be about 60 after working for 30 years, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said.

Another point of contention is the “retirement reward” of minister-level officials, as political appointees assuming office prior to 2003 and having served for more than two years can combine their years of service in government with their years as civil servants to qualify for a monthly pension, but for officials assuming office after 2003, only a lump-sum payment is given.

The maximum basic pay of a civil servant is NT$53,075 per month, while the basic pay of ministers is NT$95,250 per month.

However, ministers who held office prior to 2003 can receive a pension based on the basic pay of ministers even though they worked as lower-level civil servants for the majority of their careers, DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said, criticizing the system as unfair.

Hypocrisy: Maajid Nawaz suing SPLC for naming him “anti-Muslim extremist”


Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz is right to sue to Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), America’s leading hate group, for defamation. However, he is not opening up his suit to all those similarly defamed by the SPLC, because as he has made clear in the past, he thinks some of the people listed do deserve to be on it; in his view they’re racist, bigoted Islamophobes, you see, while he is a legitimate critic of Islam.

Nawaz has never bothered to explain why his criticism of Islam and jihad is good and right, while mine is racist and bigoted, but it appears clear that the answer lies more in the realm of politics than religion. Nawaz supports Muslim Brotherhood-linked Congressman Keith Ellison and other hard Leftists; he opposes Trump and all other politicians who actually propose to do something effective about the jihad threat that he acknowledges. Apparently, if you’re not on the Left but recognize the problems involved with jihad and Sharia, Nawaz thinks you’re a racist, bigoted Islamophobe, while if you’re a Leftist who see those problems, you’re a sober and careful critic of Islam.

Besides this nonsense, Nawaz is also a towering hypocrite. He is suing the SPLC for defamation? Great idea. Julia Ebner of Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation smeared Pamela Geller and me as “alt-right leaders” — Leftist dog-whistle for racist and anti-Semitic. Nawaz, Ebner, and everyone else at Quilliam ignored my repeated requests for a retraction.

So Nawaz is angry about the SPLC’s defamation while his organization knowingly and unapologetically engages in a very similar kind of defamation itself. He is suing SPLC? Great. If I had the time and resources to devote to this, I would sue Maajid Nawaz, in exactly the same way.


“Maajid Nawaz: I’m Suing the SPLC for Defamation for Putting Me on Anti-Muslim Extremist List,” by Ian Hanchett, Breitbart, June 23, 2017:

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” author, columnist, and former Islamic extremist Maajid Nawaz announced a defamation lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Lawsuit Center for listing him as an anti-Muslim extremist.

Nawaz said he is “sick to death” of “well-meaning white men” liberals “who decide that I am saying the — what they don’t agree with, don’t allow for me to say about my own community, my own religious heritage. And as a result, listed me as an anti-Muslim extremist. So, I’m going to take them to court for defamation.”

Host Bill Maher told Nawaz he’d like to be part of the crowdfund of Nawaz’s lawsuit.

Nawaz added, “I’ve memorized half of the Koran. I’m a Muslim. I’m born and raised Muslim to a Muslim. I’ve learned classical Arabic and spent time in prison as a political prisoner for what I then thought was my religion. I’ve changed my views as to the interpretation of my religion, and along come these people…and decide that I don’t have the right to speak about my own heritage and critique it from within.”…