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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Gagging teachers with ‘neutrality’

The Public Servants Administrative Neutrality Act enacted on June 10 lays out a beautiful vision for the civil service, but also shows the slipshod, dragnet approach of legislation.

The act’s formulation and implementation can indeed guide public servants to carry out their administrative duties fairly, without bias for or against any political party and without getting involved in political disputes. However, it does not give due consideration to freedom of expression and academic thought as protected in Article 11 of the Constitution.

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If incompetence meets stealth...

Not much has happened of late in the world of business news that could be considered amusing. Yesterday, however, the bizarre and the grimly comical combined in the story of Taiwanese travel agency ezTravel, whose president had just “discovered” that his company had been taken over by Chinese online travel agency Ctrip.com after the latter acquired a majority of shares through a coalition of investors after years of gradual acquisition.

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What's behind Taiwan media bias?

Since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May last year, financial analysts have shown an alarming tendency to attribute rises on the Taiwanese stock market to “closer relations with China” or the signing of agreements between Taipei and Beijing, while drops on the local bourse have often been blamed on rallies organized by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Those assessments — which are picked up by news wire agencies and newspapers — often ignore macroeconomic variables and regional trends that explain stock fluctuations far better than local political developments.

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Are Taiwanese fooled?

When my friends and I last visited our home country I was stunned to see that Taiwan is no longer the same free country since President Ma Ying-jeou was elected by the majority of the Taiwanese people. The local newspapers and TV stations appear to be out of touch and not reporting what has been happening in Taiwan. The economic crisis, the high suicide rate and a feeling of helplessness have deeply eroded the fledging democracy that the previous two presidents had built.

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Protecting freedom of expression through film

This year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) includes showings of Australian director Jeff Daniels’ film 10 Conditions of Love, a documentary on the life of World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer. Festival organizers have also invited Kadeer to speak at the festival and attend the film’s premiere on Saturday.

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Where is Yeh's heroism now?

Many vividly remember Department of Health (DOH) Minister Yeh Ching-chuan’s emotional “I love Taiwan” outburst after he was heckled by overseas Taiwanese students in Geneva in May over the nation’s dubious status at the World Health Assembly.

“Think about it, everyone. Who was it then [during the SARS outbreak in 2003] that risked his life to protect the people in Taiwan? Who could love Taiwan more if that isn’t perceived as an act of love for Taiwan?” a tearful Yeh told a press conference at the time, alluding to the shining “anti-SARS hero” name plate bestowed upon him by then-Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou in 2003 following the SARS outbreak.

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Newsflash


Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang yesterday in Taipei announces the Presidential Office’s decision not to approve former president Ma Ying-jeou’s application to visit Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Presidential Office yesterday turned down former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) application to travel to Hong Kong on Wednesday, citing national security concerns and the highly-sensitive nature of the planned destination.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday afternoon, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said that the office rejected Ma’s application after factoring in the counsel of an ad hoc group established to review the former president’s travel request.