Thu, Jul 11, 2019 - Page 8 News List


Freedom and human rights

The pop music award ceremony of the 2019 Golden Melody Awards took place at the Taipei Arena on June 29. If one were to ascribe a theme to this year’s awards, it would be that of freedom and human rights.

The Song of the Year award went to Jolin Tsai’s (蔡依林) Womxnly (玫瑰少年). The song’s lyrics are built around the theme of schoolboy Yeh Yung-chih (葉永誌), who before his death at school 15 years ago was bullied for his effeminate manner. Its message is one of gender diversity and self-identity.

Taiwan’s LGBTQ rights movement has for many years been broadening its support base, leading to this year’s legalization of same-sex marriage. From this point on, Taiwan’s image as a nation built on a foundation of human rights has been firmly established for all the world to see.

The Best Band award went to “oriental metal” band Chthonic (閃靈樂團), whose lead singer, Freddy Lim (林昶佐), is a New Power Party legislator. On stage at the ceremony, Lim took the opportunity to say: “Hong Kong — keep going! Long live Taiwan!”

In the past few years, more and more artists have used their award acceptance speeches to express their views about social issues. Some of them also embed their social concerns within their creative content. This welcome trend arises from Taiwan’s social tolerance and grows out of its fertile soil of freedom.

Leo Wang (王之佑), who won the Best Male Mandarin Singer award, used his acceptance speech to say: “I am very lucky and happy to have been born in Taiwan. As a creative person, I have always been able to write whatever I want. For a creator, this is the most important, most important, most important, most important, most important thing!”

The most important idea that Wang sought to convey with these words is the core value of freedom.

The lyrics of Hong Kong singer Denise Ho’s (何韻詩) song Glamorous (艷光四射) include the line: “When you’re born in the midst of chaos, you have a certain duty.”

Politics is not far away from us. Held for the 30th time this year, the Golden Melody Awards reflect how Taiwan’s freedoms are being implemented more and more deeply in every person’s life and in their very breath. Different generations in Taiwan might disagree about some things, but their greatest consensus is that of freedom and human rights.

Yang Shu-shan


Open letter to Ko Wen-je

Being a long-time resident here in Taiwan I have seen wonderful and dramatic changes in the quality of life in Taipei. But now it is time to step up and make changes that reflect our climate and our changing environment.

What I am suggesting is to follow the lead of Singapore and to slowly switch over to electric buses. Taipei is small enough to make this a viable, manageable and worthwhile project.

In addition, as the climate changes and the weather becomes hotter and hotter, Taipei would benefit from wide-scale planting of trees. Anywhere you turn in Taipei, you see people, whether they are on motorcycles or waiting to cross the street, searching for a shady and cool place to wait.

We should begin to plant trees everywhere across the city and also to have a fleet of electric-powered buses, which would help to maintain and enhance the quality of life here.

Mark Linett


Safety over shade

Emililio Venezian asked about pruning trees (Letter, July 4, page 8).

July 1 is the first day of the typhoon season in Taiwan. This year weather forecasters estimate there will be five typhoons in the region that might affect Taiwan. Yes, pruning trees is very prudent given the high winds expected during typhoons.

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