Doubts about the water
I’d like to share my opinions on a recent development: “Nation’s drinking water meets WHO rules: TWC” (April 6, page 2). Though it is good news to all of the citizens who could benefit from it, I still want to express my concern on this issue.
Although Taiwan Water Corp pointed out that the nation’s tap water meets international drinking standards, I still have some concerns.
There are several reasons why I remain doubtful about its safety.
First, I have heard some unhappy experiences from several friends who drank tap water in Taiwan for a while and ended up having stomachaches or other physical health problems.
Furthermore, the tap water smells impure, as if it contains chemicals. Frankly speaking, if even my own family members and friends consider it unsafe to drink directly from the faucet, how can our foreign friends feel safe drinking it?
Since I have been to both Japan and the US, whose tap water is cleaner and has been commonly consumed for years, I suggest TWC take these successful examples as role models. As far as I am concerned, the quality of tap water is seriously connected to our daily lives, not to mention the importance it plays in our lives.
After witnessing the success of other countries, I firmly believe that the authorities have the ability to provide us with a better living quality. As a Taiwanese myself, it goes without saying that I hope the living standards in my own country can be as high in other developed countries.
ICRT still needs prodding
I write with reference to Chou Long’s view on ICRT (Letters, April 14, page 8) and Anthony van Dyck’s reply (Letter, April 16, page 8). I was the co-author with Van Dyck of the 2005 ICRT petition — “Bring Back My ICRT!” — and as a result of the petition, I received a telephone call from Nelson Chang (張安平), chairman of the Taipei International Cultural Foundation, which runs the station. Chang explained to me the market realities ICRT faced then and pledged to encourage change at the station. Eventually, station management was changed (they heard us!) and other improvements were made, although it is understandable that many still feel there is more left to be done. In short, when ICRT listens, it improves.
I agree with Van Dyck that ICRT’s news is too short — Taiwan needs an English-only news source of more than five minutes. I believe that Gavin Phipps, formerly of the Taipei Times, is a newsreader — could your esteemed publication co-produce a daily news roundup with ICRT?
I would also add “Language Links” to Van Dyck’s list of useless English programs. ICRT seems to believe the English spoken by the Three Stooges is the correct way to speak.
Unfortunately, my impression of ICRT today is that change only occurs when forced upon it. Last fall, friends of mine in graduate school wrote to ICRT asking about more student promotions, such as Taiwan Apprentice. They did respond, but only with: “We have no plans for another Taiwan Apprentice.” This is unfortunate.
When ICRT begins closely listening to its audience and not just mindlessly broadcasting, it will truly return to the important role it had in the past.