Sun, Dec 18, 2011 - Page 8 News List


Black clouds are here

Seemingly, the black clouds on the economic horizon are still far away, judging from the news headlines every day. However, the presidential candidates should address this issue — a key issue for the future of Taiwan.

The economic climate can be judged not just from financial markets, but in restaurants, stores, shopping malls or any consumption-related business.

However, instead of treating domestic consumption as an important part of the Taiwanese economy, the focus is always the same: China, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, some highly questionable “consensus” and biotech companies. The government’s fabrications, twisted facts and spun data have not brought the country one step forward.

Where is the government’s answer to the looming difficulties? How should domestic consumption--based businesses support the new challenges? All these questions should be debated and answered before elections without being white-washed and twisted as they have been until now.

It is not five minutes until midnight — it is midnight. There is not even a single day to lose. Answers must be delivered, decisions explained and everyone must be in place to help.

Laws have to be amended, adjusted to the challenges of the present situation, made open, fair and transparent. Laws have to serve people — it should not be people serving (outdated) laws.

Ethnic conflicts have to be addressed and solved fairly.

There is so much reform needed in Taiwan to make sure its people do not some day discover they have been isolated, left behind, without any choice.

Honest answers — and actions afterward, that is the only way forward. The one who offers only empty promises should lose — the one who answers questions honestly and keeps their promises must be accepted by Taiwanese.

This is what I, as a foreigner, hope for every Taiwanese.

Choose the best candidate for all our futures. Make a wise choice, based on facts, not on cheap election tactics.

Andreas Forster

Sanjih, New Taipei City

White Terror, verbal battles

The comments of Matt Nicodemus on “blinders on White Terror” reminded me of the presidential election in this free and democratic Taiwan society (“Blinders on White Terror,” Dec. 14, page 8).

The issue of “confusing the dates” of the Yu Chang document presented by Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) brings to mind the White Terror era. We hope this really is a mistake by Liu and that the error will be forgotten in a short time.

From the acrimony over persimmons at NT$2 per jin (600g) to the furor over Hung Heng-chu (洪恆珠), vice presidential candidate Su Jia-chyuan’s (蘇嘉全) wife, attending a party 10 years ago where male strippers provided entertainment, the sad state of this election is driving every voter crazy. Does nothing else deserve to be discussed?

Taiwan’s politics and economy are well known for “hard” power, and this can be generalized to all the electronic hardware manufactured by Taiwan during its heyday.

Taiwan’s high-tech industry is facing tremendous challenges from China and its extremely low production costs. Manufacturing can no longer support Taiwan’s economy alone. Taiwan needs new “soft” and innovative industries, including cultural, services, financial and software, etc.

The most important infrastructure for those soft industries is education and culture.

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