On February 1, 1999, the last year of the 20th century, Wang, Jin-Pyng at the opening session of the Forth Term of the Legislative Yuan was elected as the Speaker of Legislative Yuan with a major vote of 135 out of 225 seats. This marks 23 years of effort in public service since he took up his first public post as a legislator in 1976. This number represents “Where there is a will, there is a way” and also shows a rich personal experience in political hearing. Crossing to the new century, leading the congress, the effort and ambition of Wang, Chin-Pyng will give him an indelible position in the political history of Taiwan.
Wang, Jin-Pyng was born in 1940 at “Yi-Chia” of Luchu Hsiang, Kaohsiung County. It was a simple rural village community. He belonged to a large family so everyday after opening the door the first thing that he had to face was complicated interpersonal relations. This lead to building up mild characteristics in him, valuing harmony and making him smooth in negotiations. It made him into the perfect candidate for the post of speaker of the Legislative Yuan.
The core of Wang’s big family is Wang, Chin-Pyng’s father. Whenever you mention the name of Wang-Ko, a man not knowing a single word but yet filled with the manner of an enterpriser, Wang, Chin-Pyng would said to you in a voice of adoration, “Father has six brothers, he is the elder one. Although he had not the chance to receive proper education, he always analyzes matters with penetrating views. As for business operation, he was also successful in every way. In fact, the current career that belongs to our family today initiated from my father’s hands. The two most important things that he taught me are to be earnest and sincere.”
Though his father on the path of business has been successful in every way, the ten acres of land originally owned by the family has not for a single day been laid to waste.
On that piece of land, Wang, Jin-Pyng weaved his childhood dreams. Especially during leek flower harvests, he would call upon his companies to compete for the honorable title of being an expert in pulling out leek flowers and also carrying it on the shoulders to sell for a good price in the market. This was his first experience of “What one sows, one will harvest”.
Because there were many “Se-Tou” his considerate mother would provide these workers help with the harvest by making dinner and snacks five times a day. When Wang, Jin-Pyng was a little kid, he would fight for the chance to carry snacks out into the fields and give them to the workers. As he often got the job, everyone loved seeing this little smiling “Buddha”. Seeing their satisfied faces as they ate these snacks, he also was praised for the good job of carrying it to them, and this became the endless source of Wang, Jin-Pyng’s energy-- to serve the people and make friends in all fields.
Diligence of village life not only gave him positive mental growth but also improved his physical condition. Forty-six years ago when he was in grade 6 at elementary school he could lift up fifty catty of weight. Forty years ago when he was in his third year of senior high, even with his small short structure, he ranked first in his grade for jumping the furthest in the long jump and the triple jump section. He is good in single and parallel bars also. Wang, Jin-Pyng’s grade in physical education is so good that his gym teachers encouraged him to go for the department of physical education when he took his university entrance exam. Aside from these, you might not know the fact that in his junior and senior years of high school in Taiwan First High, he was always team leader of the school’s tennis team.
Wang, Jin-Pyng said that he had not put extra efforts in academic studies since childhood and he doesn’t believe in renowned star schools but his grades has been good and his education was smooth all along. After he finished his elementary education at Tainan Municipal Da-she Elementary School, Wang, Jin-Pyng passed the entrance exam entering Taiwan First High in which he finished his junior and senior high school education without changing schools. Afterwards he entered the Department of Mathematics of the Teacher’s College after taking the joint university programs admission examination.
As Wang, Jin-Pyng recalled his youth years, he never thought about what he would do in the future. After he graduated from Teacher’s College, he taught mathematics for one year at Provincial Chin Teh Senior High of Chang-Hwa County then went to serve his military duties. After leaving the army, he went back home and worked at the food factory owned by his family. His job responsibility was import and export trade. Of course, he never thought about becoming a politician during his entire life!
Coming home after he retired from the army and at the same time getting involved in handling the family business, elders began to urge Wang, Jin-Pyng to get himself a wife as soon as possible. In the eyes of elderly people, getting married then starting a career is a representation of a man becoming an adult. In his memory, after graduating from college, he attended twenty or more matchmaking dinner gatherings with girls introduced by his friends and family members who wished he would get marry the sooner the better. All these had no results. A happy match finally came after the national champion instructor Mr. Ho, Mao-Lin acted as Wang, Jin-Pyng’s matchmaker.
On March 26, 1969, at the anniversary celebration of Shih Chien Home Economics College at unforgettable “Feng-Lin Restaurant”, Wang, Jin-Pyng met his wife Mrs. Chen, Tsai-Lien for the first time. It was love at first sight and both left a deep impression in the other’s mind. One year before the two-month anniversary of the day they met each other, May 25, their parents held their engagement ceremony at the Mandarina Crown Hotel. This opened the starting page of their love for reach others through their lives.
Married since then, they went hand in hand through each day. Wang, Jin-Pyng’s affection for his wife never waned as time passed by, although at the same time he soared from a legislator to high official positions, not to mention due to his impressive performance he captured the throne of Legislative Yuan Speaker. There’s always a pair of great hands behind each successful man. Mrs. Chen, Tsai-Lien, aside from giving all her support to her husband, she took full responsibility for their children’s education. After the birth of their second child, she resigned from her favorite job as a teacher teaching at Shih-Chien College in order to devote herself totally to her family.
Without any regret, she assisted her husband in serving the public. The feeble condition of Mrs. Wang, after going through the hard labor of giving birth to two daughters and one son, unfortunately was effected her with Rheumatoid Arthritis, her muscles gradually withered due to her illness. Nevertheless, she still fulfilled her role as a dutiful wife and a loving mother. No matter if it is the education of children or managing the house, she never let her husband worry. When you talk to Wang, Jin-Pyng about his wife, in his voice you can tell how much he loves her. Over the past ten years, he accompanied her to search for cures locally and abroad. Going to temples to pray for good fortune, he stays with her all along the way like something that he can never make up for. So touching is their story indeed!
Stephenson of England said, “A politician is perhaps the only career that you don’t have to make preparations.” In early 1975, Wang, Jin-Pyng represented his family business to participate in the founding of the Kaohsiung County Industrial Association and first became a member of the council, elected as president of the council after receiving the majority support from all members. Since the beginning of his term, he employed the method of “Factory Service”. Due to this fact in less than a year Wang, Jin-Pyng had been to every corner of Kaohsiung County in order to understand the condition of factories and mediating disputes. This action won him the friendship of almost all and built his reputation in Kaohsiung County.
By the end of 1975, the second election for increased legislator seats, the original legislator from Kaohsiung Mr. Huang, Tung-Shu gave up running to renew his term of office. Local figures after discussion asked him to run for the post due to his fresh and friendly image. This is the beginning of Wang, Jin-Pyng’s lifelong devotion to politics.
Recalling how he got himself involved in politics, Wang, Jin-Pyng said, “ As I remember it was the funeral day of the late President Chiang Kai-shek in 1975, I received a call from my oldest brother living in the south. That phone call changed my career.” I never thought about becoming a politician. Wang, Jin-Pyng only remembers that his brother insisted that he take a plane down south for the discussion of an important matter. After arriving south travel-stained, he met with his older brother under the same roof with other public representatives such as the county magistrate, local party committee member and other “politicians”. The first question thrown to him was “Would you like to run for legislator?” “I must be honest with you all. I have no idea what a legislator should do, but if you want to run then I will not let you down.” Hearing his own voice echo in the wind, a shiver of fear slight climbed into Wang, Jin-Pyng’s heart. A commitment is a commitment! He said to himself.
Perhaps it’s his fate to become a politician. With 194,444 supporting votes from fellow countrymen, he was smoothly elected as legislator with the second highest vote. A new star was born in Taiwan’s political field. Tthen he ran to renew his post and quick as lightening, before he knew it, 24 years had gone by.
Wang, Jin-Pyng is a witness to this entire historical process-- the history of congress development in Taiwan, in other words the progress of democracy in Taiwan. Since February 1, 1976 when he first reported to the Legislative Yuan and started his career as a member of congress till 1990, during the 14-year period, Wang, Jin-Pyng had participated in the Finance Committee, learned discussion skills from senior members also enriched himself with financial policy capability. In the historical moment, crossing strict control and opening up, he participated in the planning and drafting of major policies and at the same time made major strategic decision. For example, in 1980, 1987, 1990 he many times acted to assemble members of Financial Committee and put his efforts forward in making possible historical polices such as innovative tax system, opening up the establishment of security firms, lift prohibition of setting up private banks and removing foreign exchange control schemes and other such policies.
April 10, 1990, Wang, Jin-Pyng with his fifteen years of experience as legislator and participation in major policy making, he was elected as Vice-Chairman of Policy Committee of KMT party gaining an opportunity to attend meetings of Central Policy Making Standing Committees. This is the beginning of Wang, Jin-Pyng engaging himself in the works of the central policy unit of the political party in power. On November 17 of the same year, the Central Policy Making Standing Committee, in order to establish close links to Legislative Yuan to promote policies, assigned members as windows to each unit in Legislative Yuan. With his past experience in the financial committee, Wang, Jin-Pyng was elected as the Chief of Finance Committee at Central Policy Making unit responsible for negotiation as to promote party policy passing related laws in the Legislative Yuan.
On December 31, 1991, all first senior members of the central public representatives resigned and were replaced by 130 added seats that were elected in 1989 to do their job in the Legislative Yuan. In this transit period between the old and new Legislative Yuan, Wang, Jin-Pyng was posted as KMT’s first director of the Working Committee also the Chief Recorder of Party Office in charge of cross party negotiations. This marks the beginning of him bringing his high negotiation skills to full. With his respectable character and frank and sincere manner , the session for year 1990 started smoothly. Overall negotiations went on in a peaceful way, establishing a new record of no fighting in the Legislative Yuan since the fighting went on for five years between 1987 and 1992.
On February 1, 1993, Wang, Chin-Pyng was KMT’s candidate nomination for the post of Vice-speaker of the Legislative Yuan for the Second Term of legislators. Supported by a majority, he successfully captured the post and started leading the congress. When the three-year term expired he renewed his post. For his six-year period serving two consecutive terms from February 1, 1993 to January 31, 1999, Wang, Jin-Pyng’s performance was obvious to all. Not only that he substitutes the speaker as chairman to sessions many times but also completed passing many important laws such as the Self-governance Law for Provinces and Counties, the Municipal Self-governance Law, National Health Insurance Law, February 28 Incident Disposition and Compensation Act, the Joint Development Law, the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law, Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance Law, the Government Procurement Law, Three Laws Pertaining to National Security, Three Laws Pertaining to Communication and others. These laws mark distinguished contributions to the development of our country.
When he was posted as vice speaker of the Legislative Yuan, he has other important roles to play demonstrating his wisdom. One of these is the promoter of congress diplomacy. He has represented our Legislative Yuan as Vice Speaker visiting abroad and also as representative to receive guests from foreign countries. In 1992, he was posted as the Director of the China-Japan Congress Member Interactions Association; he became more active in promoting congress diplomacy. Secondly, played a role as participant, joining in policy making of party in Legislative Yuan. August 27, 1993, Wang, Jin-Pyng was elected as the central committee at the 14th nationwide representative meeting of the KMT. At the same time as the most popular committee member, he was elected as the central standing committee member and renew his post each year ever since. Due to his identity of participating in policy making of the party, Wang, Jin-Pyng is able to make suggestions at appropriate times concerning important national policy making, congress reform plans, major local reform items and others. Thirdly, he is the major negotiator to cross party negotiations in the Legislative Yuan. Since the end of 1990 when senior legislators resigned and were replaced by new legislators to lead negotiations, Wang, Jin-Pyng at that time was posted as KMT supervisor and started to search for a mechanism to make cross party negotiation possible. In the second and third session, you can see the function of this newly employed mechanism.
Wang, Jin-Pyng builds his high reputation in his six-year term as vice-speaker of the Legislative Yuan. In the forth session, many supported him to be the speaker instead of the vice speaker of the Legislative Yuan. On February 1, 1999, after over twenty years of efforts, Wang, Jin-Pyng became the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan as everyone had hoped. As the Legislative Yuan enters the 21st century, Wang, Chin-Pyng will no doubt lead the congress with his grand wisdom. Facts proves that as the Legislative Yuan was under the major impact of reform in the first half session of the fourth term, in just one year, Wang, Jin-Pyng promoted adjustments in organization, reinforced staff members, crossed party negotiation according to the five major Legislative Reorganization Act. In doing so he opened a model in congress reform and contributed to the completion of discussion by the end of the session. A total of sixty new laws were passed during the first half of this session moreover confirmed the plan to move the Legislative Yuan to a new place, which had been put off for a long time. The second half was even more brilliant as ninety-six laws were passed, the second highest in history since the highest record set with one hundred and forty-eight laws passed in 1948. In addition to all these, there are other extraordinary performances namely a lecture by the President of Costa Rica in our Legislative Yuan, leading a visiting group to the Republic of Macedonia, promoting our diplomatic relations with European countries…etc.
In the field of politics, no one ever doubts the unique political charm possessed by Wang, Jin-Pyng. No celebrated names, no exaggerating words. Although there are so many problems to be handled in the Legislative Yuan, he can always stay firm and handle it with a calm mood-- always achieving his goal at the end.
“We must start a “Golden Age” in order to let the public have their “Peaceful Years”. This is his core concept as a politician.
As a philosopher, Wang, Jin-Pyng always faces his role and position with a smiling face and a clearly defined logical way to interpret issues.
With a picture of a“Golden Age” in his heart and a blueprint of "Peaceful Years” in his mind, Wang, Jin-Pyng, after accumulating rich capability and relations, devoted himself in promoting welfare policies and building a harmonious society.
He said, “ As the Speaker of Legislative Yuan, I’m an instrument of the country so I must maintain the function and dignity of the Legislative Yuan. In the structure of social action, we should play a leading role.” Aside from being the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan, KMT’s Central Standing Committee Member and these “official posts”, he also holds other pubic welfare positions such as Director of China-Japan Congress Member Interactions Association, President of the Council for Taiwan Major League Baseball Association, Board Chairman of the Formosa Cancer Foundation, President of the Council for National Volunteer Fire Fighters’ Association, Honored Board Chairman of the Charity Mothers Association and Honored Board Chairman of the National No-Barrier Space Development Association…etc.
In the 10th Presidential Election, Wang, Jin-Pyng takes up the post as chief committee member for campaign headquarters of KMT’s presidential candidate and vice-presidential candidate Mr. Lien Chan and Mr. Hsiao, Wan-Chang. This is the utmost approval the party gives to him for his rich experience in elections and his relations covering a wide range over many different fields.
Crossing the end of the 20th century and passing through the millennium, guiding the Legislative Yuan and navigating the presidential election, Wang, Chin-Pyng is certain to make more contributions to this country in the new century.