United DPP must back Tsai
Former premier William Lai (賴清德) deserves praise, not only for his graceful acceptance of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primary results, but also for calling on his supporters to unite and support President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in next year’s election.
The main presidential hopefuls from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) have been making various promises in the hope of securing their party’s endorsement, Taiwanese should scrutinize their pledges closely.
Unlike the KMT presidential hopefuls, Tsai has a track record proving her capabilities and commitment to Taiwan.
Around the world, many politicians have in recent years embarked on populist campaigns just to be elected, including Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). One would be surprised if Han or Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) fails to adopt a similar strategy once the KMT has selected its candidate.
However, it would be dangerous for Taiwan if a populist candidate — with little experience in governance — becomes the next president.
The experience of former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton — who fought a tough and bitter Democratic Party presidential primary with US Senator Bernie Sanders — should serve as a warning to DPP members, as well as ordinary Taiwanese.
Sanders’ campaign divided the base of Democratic voters and this ultimately benefited then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump when US citizens went to vote.
DPP members must unite and rally behind Tsai’s re-election bid. Looking at what is happening in Hong Kong, Taiwanese must take seriously the threat from the People’s Republic of China and acknowledge that only Tsai has the determination and experience to protect and safeguard Taiwan’s interests.
It would be disastrous if a populist candidate from the KMT, such as Han or Gou, wins the election in January next year.
There is no other choice for Taiwanese: Tsai is the only one who will stand up and protect the nation’s sovereignty and the welfare of its 23 million citizens.
Now is the time for voters to unite and back Tsai, and send a strong message to those who are making attempts to change the status of Taiwan.
New bus policy
Taipei and New Taipei City are jointly introducing a new transportation policy beginning on July 1. The policy stipulates that passengers swipe their cards twice when taking public buses — once when getting on and again when getting off (“Passengers must swipe twice when taking Taipei buses,” June 7, page 3).
However, there will be no change in bus fares. When the passenger first swipes their card when boarding, NT$15 will be subtracted from the card, and when disembarking, either nothing, or another NT$15 or NT$30 will be charged, depending on how far the passenger has traveled.
The main goal of the policy is to clear up the confusion passengers frequently face when to swipe their card, when boarding or when disembarking, or how many times they ought to swipe it.
As far as I am concerned, the new policy serves as a feasible and effective solution to the problem.
At present, every bus running in Taipei or New Taipei City has different fares, and the buffer zones of each bus vary as well. Some people need to swipe their card once, while others need to do it twice. Some do it when boarding, while others do it when disembarking.
The intricacy of the current policy has baffled passengers for a long time. In addition, during rush hour, those getting on and off the bus tend to congregate at the doors of the bus, making it difficult for the driver to supervise who pays.
I think it is high time that a new policy save people from all the inconvenience and hassle.
While the measure is scheduled to take effect on July 1, swiping the card twice is not compulsory, and the government is encouraging the public to observe the regulation by providing incentives, such as prize draws.
Hopefully, residents in Taipei and New Taipei City will enjoy less complicated and more convenient bus trips in the near future.
New Taipei City
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