President Tsai Ing-wen (???) pledged Friday that in the government's efforts to reform the country's retirement pension system, it will give special consideration to military personnel and will not wink at any attempts to stigmatize the military.
Speaking at an Armed Forces Day event, Tsai was alluding to the circulation of several unverified rumors concerning military personnel.
Tsai urged military personnel to take the reforms in stride, saying that the problems in the current retirement pension system have developed over time and if they are not addressed, they will affect the future of military retirees.
The problems escalated because past governments did not have the courage to tackle pension reform, Tsai said, adding that the blame should not be placed on any single individual or occupation.
She said pension reform is not an easy task because it requires discussions between the government and each category of workers to address their particular problems.
The military, for example, tends to have a short service period, early retirement and a high turnover rate, Tsai said, adding that the government will take these factors into consideration in its pension reform plans.
Addressing the issue of unverified rumors and inaccurate information concerning military personnel, the president said she will not turn a blind eye to any attempts to stigmatize or mock the military.
An alliance of retired and active military personnel, civil servants and public school teachers is planning to take to the streets Saturday in protest against what it called "stigmatization" of public sector pensioners.
The alliance has complained that public sector pensioners are often depicted as enjoying lucrative retirement benefits and are blamed for the problems in the pension system.
Commenting on the planned protest, Ministry of Defense spokesman Chen Chung-chi (???) said it is not appropriate for active military personnel to take part in such activities.
The ministry, however, will not set out to determine whether any active personnel are joining the protest, and any penalties will depend on the demonstrators' behavior during the protest, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel