時代在變,國建會也要變!?

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1989 / 8月

文‧宋菊琴 圖‧張良綱


去年是解嚴之後召開的第一次國建會,由於國內言論尺度大為放寬,相較之下,國建會以往「建言」的功能不再那麼彰顯,以致部分傳播媒體提出國建會存廢的問題來討論,引起各界不同的反應。

 

今年,國建會再度召開,輿論的攻擊聲卻減弱了,新聞報導的篇幅也縮水了。國建會沉寂了嗎?它要何去何從?


今年七月十日國家建設研究會在台北圓山飯店揭幕,一連舉行十天。

與會人士受到與歷屆國建會同樣的熱情接待與重視。開、閉幕式及座談會,各部會首長都照往例列席參加,僅外交部長連戰因出國訪問,改由次長金樹基出席。

但是,與會的海外出席人在心情上可就大有不同了。大多數的海外學人都已耳聞去年國建會所受嚴厲抨擊,所以顯得相當謹慎。衛生福利組張少歐表示,該組每位出席人都做了不少「家庭作業」,發言時還有人提供有關背景資料或打出幻燈片加以說明,出席率更是高達百分之百。

出席學者,有備而來

其他組的成員也不敢做「省油的燈」。曾於民國六十九年回國服務三年的交通運輸組黃維遠,非常瞭解國內對國建會的期望,所以,平時不但關心國內事務,回國前還仔細研讀了背景資料,就深恐發言時「不進入狀況」。

勞工問題組李宗派,更提前一個月返國,在高雄醫學院附設醫院家庭醫學科授課。他說:「我藉這機會一邊教,一邊學,研究國內的勞工制度、勞保問題,假日還到龍發堂參觀。」他認為回來開三天會,起碼要準備三個月,否則即使是專家也沒用。

與會者雖然如此「發憤」,國建會對輿論界的「魅力」卻似乎不再了。報禁開放後,報紙增為六大張,國建會的新聞卻縮水了;地位也從第一、二版,掉到了七、八版,要認真的翻、仔細的找,才看得到一些片斷的報導。

「根本的原因在於,國內的環境變了」,國內一位要聞版記者分析。

言論格局,更形開闊

國建會於民國六十一年首度舉辦,當時正是政府剛剛退出聯合國,中共利用國際姑息主義,在外交上孤立我國,同時對海外學人極盡拉攏之時。因此,政府為團結海內外力量,決定召開國建會,以增進海外學人對國家現況的瞭解、與政府的溝通,並凝聚海內外學人的學識、經驗和智慧,來推動國家建設,達到政治號召與建言的雙重目的。

也因此,國建會出席人士以海外言論自由的習慣,帶動了新觀念的建立和自由論政的風氣,國建會成了「言論假期」,學人們常會發出一些不同的聲音,頗能叫人「耳目一新」。

但是,近年來政治社會開放,尤其解嚴之後,言論的格局更為開闊,國會表現也非昔日可比;再者,國內學者不但經常出席國際會議,海外優秀人才也陸續回國服務;海內外的交流頻繁,使國內建設規劃的水準大幅提高。學人們若想「秀」出一些驚人之語,可說難上加難,「新聞性」自然也就弱了。

而就各組提出的議題觀之,國人期待於學人的是,對國內面臨的問題提出具體可行的解決辦法,而不再僅是原則性的建言。

「國內現在對問題的規劃能力已具有國際水準,因此我們提供的建議是要如何解決問題,而不是說出會產生什麼問題」,交通運輸組黃維遠說。

但即使有此認識,他對自己的建言還是頗為懊惱。在討論花蓮港時,黃維遠認為花蓮港雖然腹地小,但緊臨太魯閣、天祥等風景區,觀光資源豐富,因此建議仿效美國邁阿密港,建設為貨運與郵輪港,以觀光、休閒為主,增加花蓮港的使用。

然而花蓮港務局長李用彪表示,這建議恐怕行不通,因為花蓮冬季風大,約有半年船不能進港。像氣候這麼「本土性」的問題,就是黃維遠未曾料到的。

此外,國內問題的關鍵,誠如今年國建會總領隊方大錚在總結報告中所言:「政府有心無力,事事受製於輿論、立法、司法及利益團體,只好謀求妥協。」這種狀況對未參與實際行政工作的國內學者來說,所提的建議都可能產生理論與實際的差距,更何況是久居海外的學人?又怎能不「隔靴騷癢」?

國建會議,著重後續功能

由「立即效應」來看,國建會可能會令不少國人大失所望;但國建會的「後續」功能卻是不容忽視的。誠如行政院長李煥在閉幕式中所說:「這絕不是結束,而是另一個新階段行動的開始。」

「國建會的目的在與海外優秀的人才接上頭,使他們瞭解,國內有那些單位是與他的專業有關?有那些建設是他能參與的?下次要帶什麼回來?」國建會籌備會秘書李慶珠對國建會的後續功能,做了進一步的說明。

像行政院去年通過的「汽電共生」計畫,就是由國建會海外出席人陳謨星博士所建議促成的。他因為此項建議,在國建會後,受邀擔任能源委員會委員,透過國內外多次會議反覆研討而定案。此一計畫,可為裝置廠商節省百分之卅以上的能源成本。

此外像報禁開放、製定選罷法、成立環保單位、修改票據法、改善電信電力系統等,也是由國建會學人的建議或從旁「敲邊鼓」促成的。

依據研考會的統計,國建會歷年來共有六千四百六十七項建言,其中已有百分之八十為政府所採納。

其他因參與國建會後而回國投資、創業、服務的也為數不少。像國立工藝博物館籌備處主任周肇基、新竹科學園區東訊公司總經理劉兆凱、國大代表李宗正、富隆證券副總經理胡立揚……,都曾是國建會的一分子。

十七年來,國建會共邀請了三千餘位海內外學人參加,他們回到僑居地之後,在美、歐、日等地區成立了廿六個聯誼團體,凝聚海外高級知識分子,繼續向政府提供建言,協助引進新科技,新制度及新觀念,也成為國家建設發展可貴的人力資源。

政治號召到專業諮詢

近年來,國建會由早年以「政治號召」為重心,逐漸轉移到「專業諮詢」。事先的準備工作是否周全、人選是否得當、開會的方式是否能充分發揮效率,都直接影響到建言的品質。

雖然,像李宗派參加第二屆國建會時「連討論題綱都不知道,就回來開會」的情況早已成了歷史,但少數分組提供的背景資料仍嫌不夠具體,使大部分研討的時間花在「認識問題」,而不是解決問題上。

衛生福利組張少歐表示,資料中若能明確指出國內計畫發展的方向、可行性如何?在事前準備上,就可以較深入;文教建設組朱立也表示,例如談公共電視問題,他希望能在背景資料中見到:目前的問題在那兒?已做到什麼地步?這就有賴未來各分組籌備人員多加努力了。

在人員遴選方面,目前是由有關部會、各駐外單位及華人學術聯誼團體推薦,或自動報名,再經篩選產生。這之中最受詬病的是「酬庸性質比例過高」。去年「國建會辦理情形初步檢討報告」中,就曾建議,一方面維持現狀;另一方面似可就專題公開徵求論文或建言,以作為遴選審核的標準,出席人專長與分組不符的問題就可迎刃而解。

以公開徵求論文來遴選出席人的方式,還有一項好處,就是等於提早將研討議題提供給出席人員,有助於對問題事先蒐集資料,並充分研究,更能達到參與研討與提供建言的目的。此外,針對與會學人大都是理論高手,實務經驗較欠缺,許多人也認為,未來似乎也有必要增加具實務經驗的人選。

降低姿態更易被接受

在開會的形式方面,目前各分組大都輪流發言,與會者像在聽取報告,不易達到討論的功效。李宗派建議分小組對談;許多人也認為,若能由出席者事先提供短篇論文,由大會分送同組人士參考,也可以減少報告的時間。

此外,許多問題牽涉到不同領域的專業知識,例如科技移轉,就牽涉法律、經濟等問題,非科技專家所能獨力解決。若能在某一天安排二、三個跨組議題,供學人自由選擇參加討論,可以收集思廣議的效果。

過去國建會廣遭各界批評的還有「姿態太高」、「受特殊待遇」等。就像國建會十天的會期中,各部會首長必須以籌備委員身分多次出席,耗費許多處理重要公務的時間。事實上,若改由次長出席並無損於其在國建會答詢的品質,又可降低外界認為國建會「特殊代遇」的不平衡心態,似乎也是未來改進的方向。

胸懷全中國

除了這些之外,今年國建會由於緊接在天安門事件之後召開,注意的焦點,十七年來議題首次跨出台灣。

「讓我們堅持和平,並且走出三.六萬平方公里的有限空間,在促進中國必然到來的民主、自由和人權的努力上,積極設法做一個主角吧!」今年國建會總領隊方大錚沉痛地呼籲。想想十七年來的國建會,可曾關懷台灣以外的中國人?或許這可為國建會再創「生機」。

針對國建會的未來走向,國建會籌備會今年在大會期間,製作了三份問卷,分別對出席者、工作人員及新聞界,就國建會的功能及改進做一調查。行政院也將依此舉行例行的檢討會。

明年國建會依兩年國內、一年國外舉行的原則,將暫停一次,在美國紐約舉行第三屆北美華人學術研討會。國建會的「前途」,政府可有充裕的時間審慎的思量了。

〔圖片說明〕

P.20

今年取消了政治外交組,行政院長李煥特地安排兩個晚上分批舉行國是座談。

P.21

七十八年國建會開幕式在台北市圓山飯店舉行。

P.22

平常要見部會首長,不是件容易事;國建會就不同了,與會者都有機會和部長交談。內政部長許水德(左一)即利用休息時間與學人交換意見。

P.22

隨著資訊的增加,言論的開放,國建會已不如以往那樣受傳播界重視。

P.25

學人在短短的參觀中,能舉出問題所在嗎?

P.24

「大陸問題」是今年國建會綜合座談討論的焦點,這些聲音能激起什麼漣漪?

P.25

參觀活動是國建會的重頭戲之一。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

What Next for the National Development Seminar?

Theresa Sung /photos courtesy of Vincent Chang /tr. by Phil Newell

Last year was the first National Development Seminar since the lifting of martial law. Because the scope of speech had been greatly broadened, the NDS came under serious fire. The level of criticism increased from previous years, when the seminar was sometimes ridiculed as "the great political ritual" or "hitting at air," to discussions of the very existence of the meeting itself.

This year, the National Development Seminar was held again. Attacks by public opinion decreased, however. Yet the scale of reports in the media devoted to the seminar also shrank. Is the NDS in the wilderness? What will become of it?


On July 10 of this year, the National Development Seminar opened at the Grand Hotel in Taipei. Those in attendance received the same enthusiastic reception as in previous years. The opening and closing ceremonies were attended by government ministers, as in the past. Only Foreign Minister Lien Chan, who was out of the country, was substituted for by the vice-minister.

Nevertheless, psychologically there was a great difference among those in attendance from overseas. Most had already heard of the severe criticism incurred last year. Therefore, they were extremely prudent. Chang Shao-ou of the public health and welfare committee indicated that all the attendees "did their homework," with some giving background data and slides when they spoke. The attendance rate was 100 percent.

The members of the other committees didn't dare to lag behind. Hwang Wei-yuan of the communications and transportation committee, who had returned to the ROC in 1980 to serve for three years, understands the expectations of the domestic audience toward the NDS. Therefore, not only was he concerned with ordinary affairs of the country, before returning to the ROC he read background materials in detail out of fear that in speaking he would be caught out of touch with the situation.

Isaiah C. Lee of the labor committee returned one month ahead and gave classes at the Kaohsiung Medical College Hospital. He said, "I took this opportunity to teach on one hand and learn on the other, to study the domestic labor system and the labor insurance issue. On days off I even went to the Lung Fa Temple to observe." He believes that to come home for three days of conference it is necessary to prepare at least three months.

Though those in attendance were diligent, it seems like the seminar no longer has its old attraction for the media. After the lifting of restrictions on newspapers, papers doubled in size; but news of the NDS, in contrast, decreased, and was moved to the back pages. One had to look carefully even to find it.

"The fundamental reason is the domestic environment has changed," is the analysis of one reporter.

The National Development Seminar was begun in 1972. At that time the government had just withdrawn from the United Nations. The Chinese Communists were attempting to isolate the ROC and win over overseas scholars. Therefore, the government decided to hold the NDS to increase the understanding of overseas scholars toward the national situation, and also to bring together the wisdom and experience of scholars home and abroad to quicken the pace of national construction. This could achieve the dual goals of a political call to action and getting outside advice.

Those attending the NDS were used to the freedom of speech abroad, and brought new viewpoints and an atmosphere of the free discussion of politics. The NDS became a "free speech holiday." However, in recent years, politics and society have liberalized. Especially after the lifting of martial law, the scope of speech is broader, and legislative bodies are performing in ways quite different from the past. Moreover, not only do ROC scholars often attend international conferences, foreign talent has continuously returned to the ROC to serve, so interchange between home and abroad is rich. The level of domestic construction planning has been raised greatly. It is therefore extremely difficult for attendees to say anything surprising or "newsworthy."

As for the issues raised by each committee, the expectation of people at home was that the scholars would raise concrete, feasible ways to solve problems facing the country, and not just state general principles. "The planning ability at home is already international standard. Therefore, the suggestions we raise must be in how to solve problems, and not in what problems will be faced," argues Hwang Wei-yuan of communications and transportation.

However, it was inevitable some scholars would be off the mark. The crux of the domestic problem, as stated by Fang Ta-cheng in the summary report, is: "The government has the intentions but not the capability. All matters are restricted legislatively, judicially, and by interest groups. The only way is to seek accommodation." This situation has led to a gap between theory and practice in the suggestions even of domestic scholars, not to mention overseas scholars long abroad. How can there not be a gulf?

In terms of immediate impact, the NDS is likely to leave many disappointed, but the aftereffects are not easy to ignore. As Premier Lee Huan noted in his closing remarks, "This is not an ending, but the beginning of a new stage of action." The cogeneration plan passed by the Executive Yuan last year, the lifting of newspaper restrictions, the passing of an election and recall law, the establishment of an environmental protection agency, and many other important policies were either produced or promoted by the suggestions of scholars at the NDS. Further, there are a large number who come to the ROC to invest, open businesses, or serve because of their participation in the NDS.

Over the last 17 years, the NDS has invited over 3,000 scholars from home and abroad to attend. After they have returned to their homes in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, overseas scholars have formed 26 friendship associations, bringing together high-level intellectuals abroad to continue to offer suggestions to the government and assist in bringing in new technology, systems, and viewpoints, becoming important human resources for national construction.

Because the NDS was centered on a political call to action, it has slowly changed into "specialized interpellations" over the past few years. Whether or not the preparations prior to the event were complete, people involved were or were not appropriate, or the methods did or did not allow substantial effectiveness, all directly influenced the quality of the suggestions. Furthermore, many issues involved different areas of specialized knowledge. For example technology transfer also touched on law and economics, and could not be decided only by technology specialists. If in a given day two or three cross-committee topics could be arranged for scholars to freely choose to attend, this could produce broader results.

This year, because the NDS opened on the heels of the Tienanmen massacre, the focus of the seminar transcended Taiwan for the first time in 17 years. "Let us maintain peace, and go out from this limited space of 36,000 square kilometers, and in the great efforts to promote the inevitable coming of democracy and freedom to China, let us actively devise ways to play a leading role," pleaded Fang Ta-cheng. Perhaps transcending Taiwan will be a new lease on life for the NDS.

Looking at the future direction of the seminar, this year three questionnaires were handed out, separately undertaking a survey of the attitudes of those in attendance, the organizers, and the media as to the functions and ways to improve the seminar. The Executive Yuan will have a meeting to reflect on these.

In line with the pattern of two years at home and one abroad, next year there will be no NDS in Taiwan. The third Chinese-American Academic and Professional Convention will be held in New York. The government will have ample time to think seriously about the future of the National Development Seminar.

[Picture Caption]

This year the politics and foreign affairs committee was cancelled. Premier Lee Huan specially held two "national affairs meetings" in its stead.

The 1989 National Development Seminar was held in the Grand Hotel in Taipei.

It's usually not easy to see a minister, but not at the NDS. The photo shows Minister of the Interior Hsu Shui-teh (first at left) exchanging views with scholars in some spare time.

Since the increase in legislative interpellations and the broadening of the scope of speech, the NDS doesn't get the attention from the media it did in days gone by.

The mainland question was the focus of the general meeting this year. What repercussions will their voices have?

Scholars get to see what's wrong as well as what's right and offer suggestions on how to rectify problems.

On-site observation activities are another part of the NDS.

 

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