Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has proposed an essay competition to mark the release of his new book, and participants might be able to visit him in the Taipei Detention Center, Chen’s office said yesterday.
In The Cross of Taiwan, Chen recounts his feelings since being detained again over allegations of money laundering and corruption. Since the book hit the shops last month, 39,000 copies have been sold.
Former presidential aide and secretary of Chen’s office Chiang Chih-ming (江志銘) said Chen was glad to learn that his book was popular and proposed holding an essay competition to interact with his readers.
“We will arrange for participants to meet with former president Chen so they can exchange ideas with each other,” Chiang said yesterday in front of the detention center.
Chiang said the office was still discussing the details of the competition, but it would send the essays to Chen and have him select the ones he likes.
Chen’s book consists of two sections: “Long Live Taiwan” and “Prison Conversation.”
“Long Live Taiwan” contains five chapters representing the five stages of his life, and “Prison Conversation” was the diary he kept during his pre-trial detention from last November to December and his current imprisonment.
When asked for comment, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Ching-chih (吳清池) laughed off the essay competition idea, saying that whoever had proposed the idea probably needed to visit a psychiatrist.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG