President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Wednesday night made his first public comments on Chinese philanthropist Chen Guangbiao’s (陳光標) recent visit to Taiwan, saying people doing good deeds should always take the dignity of beneficiaries into consideration.
Ma made the remarks while attending a blessing ceremony by Dhama Drum Mountain (法鼓山).
Chen is believed to have donated more than NT$510 million (US$17.5 million) to people and charities during his trip. However, the manner in which he made his donations, including public displays of cash handouts to the poor, caused controversy.
While some praised Chen for his generosity, others said he had disgraced Taiwan, Ma said.
“As the richest person in Taiwan said when commenting on [Chen]: Doing good deeds is good, but givers must show consideration for the recipients’ dignity. This is why Taiwan remained a courteous society as it became wealthy,” Ma said in an apparent reference to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘).
Ma visited former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and several temples yesterday on the first day of the Lunar New Year.
At Lungshan Temple, Ma distributed “lucky bags” to people.
Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) visited former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), former KMT chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄), Lien and former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村).
Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited Zhonghe Nanshan Fude Temple, while former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) prayed at Baoan Temple and both attracted long lines of people hoping to receive a red envelope from them.