Mon, Dec 29, 2003 - Page 8 News List


Targeting scooters no answer

In your story about motorcycle parking fees, the student surnamed Cheng is right to cast doubt on the city government's sincerity in curbing congestion by charging scooter drivers parking fees ("Motorcycle parking fees to be enforced in Taipei," Dec. 24, page 2), but wrong when he says that scooter drivers are a minority. It is obvious to any road user that scooters at least equal if not outnumber cars on city streets, and yet all traffic laws and regulations are unfairly designed to suit the real minority -- car drivers.

Congestion is not caused by scooters, but by those people who automatically assume that they absolutely must take with them on their journey from home to office a sofa, two armchairs, a fitted carpet, an air conditioning unit, at least four ashtrays, a stereo system, and possibly even a color TV, karaoke machine and drinks cabinet. Everything but the kitchen sink.

If the city government was sincere in its efforts to reduce congestion, it would legislate to reduce the number of selfish car owners, promote scooter driving as an environmentally sound and cost-efficient way to move around the city, and carry out a cull of the reckless, inconsiderate, dishonest and usually criminal taxi drivers. Targeting scooters is not the answer. After all, imagine if every scooter driver in the city took the bus or started driving a car. That would really be congestion.

Quentin Brand


Support Ma's recycling plan

I would like to applaud Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on his plan to collect and compost food waste. When I lived in Taipei I was distressed by what I thought was the local population's complete disregard for their environment. However, Ma's progressive and necessary plan will place Taipei firmly in the forefront of environmentally-friendly waste management not only in Asia but in the entire world.

My colleagues and I have been lobbying our municipal government here in Toronto to do the same for years. A considerable body of evidence supports the need for both pay-as-you-throw and composting programs, especially in congested urban areas lacking landfill space, and the two will complement each other nicely.

I urge your readers to fully support this plan as it is green, economical, and will also lead to technological progress.

Scott Vokey

Toronto, Canada

Taiwan must choose carefully

Well put, Bode (Letters, Dec. 23, page 8). As he says, it is not "China" per se who is pointing almost 500 missiles at Taiwan. Neither are the 1.3 billion Chinese the enemies of Taiwan. Not even many of the PLA soldiers, who are only-born sons in the family, due to China's one child policy, and who will die if "China" invades Taiwan.

It is those Communist dictators who are the source of this evil. The only benefit "China" will gain from this atrocity is a firmer Communist grip on the power to reign over Chinese people. Much like the old Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) achieving the same goal of ruling over Taiwanese people by claiming its aim was "retaking the mainland." The only thing these dictators understand and respect is power. The only way to deter these thugs from starting a war is to let them know that, if they start shooting missiles, hundreds if not thousands of deterrent missiles will rain on their heads.

The public is normally complacent and forgetful, in Taiwan and elsewhere, because they have "more important things" to do, such as making a living, and rightfully so. Remember, former US President George Bush failed to win re-election only a few month after the first Gulf War.

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