Fri, Feb 02, 2001 - Page 12 News List

Letters

Hoyle has it wrong

William Hoyle's letter accusing the DPP of weakening democratic processes by subverting them (Letters, Jan. 31, page 8) stands reality on its head.

Hoyle says that talk of snap elections and referendums shows contempt for democratic institutions. Earth to Hoyle: referendums and snap elections ARE democratic institutions, used regularly in Western democracies. The DPP is not subverting the system for short-term political gains, it is trying to make a faulty system work for long-term political growth. Making changes means making hard choices. Cutting worthless projects filled with kickbacks is an important step in eliminating corruption from the system. It is not undermining democracy, but fostering it.

Finally, Hoyle argues that discussion of the pros and cons of building the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant (核四) causes us to lose sight of the damage being done to the political system. How silly to argue the advantages and disadvantages of a policy! The fact is that the political system will change, but the plant, if built, will be permanent. Long after the political system has matured, that plant will still be churning out poisonous waste, threatening the country with a meltdown and offering a tempting target to Chinese missiles.

Michael A. Turton

Leander, Texas

Singapore a worthy model

I write in response to the article by Nan Fang-shuo (南方朔)("Taiwan should not try to copy Singapore," Jan. 31, page 8).

As a Singaporean, I consider it my duty to point out to Nan that Singapore welcomes foreign media to report on its politics, economics, financial system or anything else, only if that report is based on facts and with evidence to substantiate those facts. If any foreign reporter is prepared to present facts and evidence, then I do not see why he should be afraid of losing his skin! A responsible reporter should exercise care and discretion in deciding what to report and what not to report so that national and social security will not be the price one has to pay in the pursuit of freedom of press.

Thanks to Lee [Kuan Yew, 李光耀], Singapore is a well-controlled society and I am proud of that. Because Singapore is a well-controlled society, we do not see slander lawsuits as often as in Taiwan and citizens feel safe to walk the streets at night. This has helped Singapore to develop from one of the poorest nations in the 1960s to one of the wealthiest, with a GDP per capita twice as high as Taiwan's. It is also because Singapore is well-known for its control that the number of people wanting to migrate to Singapore far exceeds the number who want to leave Singapore.

If Taiwan had ever tried to copy Singapore, I believe it would be a safer and healthier place to live.

Michael B C Teo

Taipei

Falun Gong defended

I am writing in response to a letter from Christopher MacDonald concerning Falun Gong (Letters, Jan. 26, page 8).

MacDonald's words sound like they could be hot off the press from the latest piece of Beijing propaganda slandering Falun Gong, it's leader and it's practitioners.

I invite MacDonald to learn the truth about Falun Gong. He has clearly been misinformed. The free press around the world is telling a completely different story than he tells. From where does he get his information? Certainly not from anyone truly familiar with Falun Gong.

People in China are being arrested, jailed and tortured by the thousands simply because they practice Falun Gong, a mind, body, spirit cultivation system embracing as it's fundamental teaching the characteristic of the universe: Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance.

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