Fri, Sep 22, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Ma, the cartoon mayor

The enormous picture of sometime Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on the front of city hall is perhaps the truest depiction we have seen of him: He is drawn as a heavy-headed cartoon child with limbs to the four winds, one of which points at a skateboard and a silly smile. While the image is supposed to advertise this year's Carless Day campaign, it is a better indicator of his powers of judgement.

It is risible that a mayor would give permission to a group of malcontents to demonstrate at the very heart of the capital's transportation system. People waiting for buses are forced to walk on Zhongxiao W Road, hemmed in by the teeming traffic and the sweaty protesters. MRT and rail users have to negotiate the trappings (read: cables on the ground, trucks parked across pedestrian routes and recalcitrant crew) of "news" broadcasters and the crowd with its attendant masseurs, water carriers and lunchbox dispensers. Police stand by looking like stunned mullet as the media mob and protesters accost anyone wearing green.

The decision that created this situation may be forgiven a miscreant skateboarding child, but not an adult mayor and never, Heaven forbid, a presidential hopeful.

William Meldrum

Taipei

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