Respect overrules law
In a village in Canada’s Quebec Province, the only bus company raised its ticket prices. We, the students, found this completely unfair. On the same night, with the temperate reaching minus-30°C, about 500 of us watered the bus parking lot in front of the bus station and broke all its windows, so when the police cars came to the rescue, they were on ice and could not move. We turned them over. The local police for students was in bed with the bus company. We had no respect for them. The provincial police showed up later, same results. By then, a dozen police cars had been damaged and the bus terminal was a total mess.
Then, one single mountain police officer, a federal police officer, with his red uniform and characteristic hat, told us to go home, and we all left the place. We had respect for him. That was the end of the story and ticket prices were not raised.
Both the bus company and the two police forces had all the reasons in front of the law to sue us for destroying properties. They did not do it. If they had done it, they knew that 2,000, then 5,000 students would show up on the very same streets, with no end to the story.
Canada is well known for being a country governed by law. The students’ rights had a higher priority. A deep respect for the students was more important than trying to implement laws that are there to protect them.
Perhaps Taiwan could learn from Canada.
‘Not a political tool’
Dai Lin (林冠華), a 20-year old student activist and Northern Taiwan Anti-Curriculum Changes Alliance spokesperson, committed suicide on Thursday last week in protest against the Ministry of Education’s insistence on implementing illegal “minor adjustments” to high-school textbook guidelines on Saturday. Lin’s death marked the saddest day in the nation’s educational history.
“Education is not a political tool” (教育不是政治工具) was a slogan created by Lin. In his will, Lin asked Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) to “withdraw the amended curriculum guidelines.”
Wu indicated that he could not make such a decision. His boss, Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), is running a lame duck government. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is still daydreaming of a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). He is deep in one-sided love and cannot administer as an effective president. His government officials cannot make decisions. The Ma administration is at a standstill.
Many Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members, including legislators and presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-Chu (洪秀柱), have used strong words, such as “betrayal,” “ISIS” and “Mao Zedong” to condemn Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for backing student protests. This is an insult to Lin and, “An injury to one is an injury to all.”
In the amended curriculum guidelines, the Ma administration tries to brainwash high-school students with a China-centric historical viewpoint. Ma forgets he is a president elected by Taiwanese.
Ma should follow Lin’s saying: “Education is not a political tool,” and withdraw the amended curriculum guidelines without further delay.
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