Mon, Apr 30, 2012 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Bad driving is not cultural

I cannot believe there are people who oppose the sentiment that Taiwanese drivers as well as all drivers around the world should follow the traffic laws and drive more responsibly and all pedestrians and cyclists have a right to safe travel.

It is unfathomable that we would hurl invective at someone for openly discussing their fear, frustration or anger at being put in bodily or mortal danger while traveling to work.

For these supermen who think it is a fun challenge to stay alert, I would like to remind you that children and the elderly are not always alert.

It is pretty Darwinian to suggest that all of the people hurt or endangered by traffic accidents have only themselves to blame. Suggesting that someone on a scooter or in a fast car deserves to drive however they like with impunity because this is “cultural” or because they have a lesser risk of injury because they are in a bigger vehicle, is nonsense.

Finally, to suggest Taiwan’s (bad) driving tradition goes back ages and is thus forgivable is complete nonsense. Taiwan has changed a lot in a very short period, and the availability of motor vehicles to the middle and even lower class has transformed this country.

The infrastructure, knowledge of the traffic laws and their enforcement seem to have not kept up in the least.

Aaron Andrews

Greater Taichung

Dalai Lama’s confusion?

In an hour-long interview with Piers Morgan on a CNN talk show the other day, the Dalai Lama equated the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of China with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

When asked who the real rulers of nations were, the Dalai Lama said: “The world belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader, kings or religious leaders. The world belongs to humanity. Each country belongs essentially to their own people.”

When asked how he felt about China and if he was hopeful for the future of freedom inside China, the Dalai Lama said — and this is from the transcript of the interview: “Oh, yes. Now, as I mentioned earlier, my fundamental belief is China belongs to 1.3 billion people, the Chinese people, not the communist party, or the Kuomintang [KMT] party.”

Was His Holiness the Dalai Lama equating the CCP with the KMT? Where does he get his information from?

Was he saying that China and Taiwan are the same place?

Dan Bloom

Chiayi

Government should fund ICRT

Isn’t Lee Chia-tung’s (李家同)argument for free English-language listening comprehension content (Letters, April 28, page 8) adding to the suggestions seen in the Taipei Times recently for International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) to change its programming at night from music to all-English?

The evening programming could be divided into native speaker level content, such as newscasts, and basic level English content (with input from Lee).

The government financially supports ICRT through Hakka lessons. Would that aid not be better spent buying hours of all-English evening content?

Elizabeth Ann McGooden

Taipei

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