Tue, Dec 02, 2014 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Farewell to a divided society

Independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) sweeping victory bodes well for Taipei, or even the whole nation, in that the political stalemate created long ago by politicians from the two major political parties can really be broken.

During the campaign, the two major candidates, Ko and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Sean Lien (連勝文), built their strategies based on two very different visions. Lien’s strategy basically assumed that the gap between the pan-blue camp and the pan-green camp was clear-cut and would never be crossed over.

In contrast, Ko recognized the gap and tried hard to mend it. His campaign theme was: Even though Taipei residents have diverse family backgrounds and political inclinations, the “wall” between the camps could be torn down.

Due to different perceptions, Lien and Ko focused their campaigns on different groups of people. Lien basically appealed to the ruling party’s traditional constituencies: big businesses, military and government employees, and the party’s many affiliated associations. However, Ko tried to outflank the established strongholds of the ruling party and appealed directly to the vast majority of residents, especially the young.

As a result, both men’s campaign activities were distinct. Lien’s was solemn: The themes are party survival, economic development and even the nation’s “life or death.” The venues were traditional campaign battlefields — TV commercials, newspaper ads, campaign motorcades, big rallies, etc.

In contrast, Ko’s campaign activities were a lot merrier. They were hikes, parades, parties and concerts. With a limited budget, he relied on social networking and online communities to summon up supporters, many of whom were young men and women.

Ko’s vision of “one city, one family” has brought about a tremendous change in Taipei’s political landscape. It is time for him to take an even bigger stride to meet the aspirations of society.

Johnway Chen

Taipei

PayPal squeezing customers

A foreigner recently wrote about trouble with PayPal in Taiwan (Letter, Nov. 17, page 8). PayPal has forced its clients in Taiwan to open accounts with E.Sun Bank after entering a mutually beneficial arrangement.

PayPal cares little about the inconvenience to its clients. The foreigner was told that he could not withdraw his funds because he had less than a year left on his Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

The bank refused to give this gentleman his own money, a shocking case of stupidity and greed as it allowed the bank to continue to collect interest on somebody else’s money. Unfortunately, as a small business owner, I had the same experience when a smug bank employee told me I could not withdraw my own money for the same reason.

I notified a judge about this situation.

PayPal responded in the Taipei Times, blaming Taiwan’s foreign exchange regulations without explaining how this affected removing funds in New Taiwan dollars (Letters, Nov. 30, page 8). It concluded with: “From early next year E.Sun Bank is set to make the withdrawal service more widely available.”

Holding a doctorate in English, I do not understand what this doubletalk means. I still do not know if the same situation will continue or if I will be able to remove funds during the last year of each ARC period.

PayPal has shown once again its contempt for its clients. It is bad enough that the banks pay almost zero interest — do they need to squeeze even more?

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