Tue, Jun 05, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Matsu fined for illegally hanging banner over street
布條橫跨馬路 媽祖被開罰

A Matsu statue at a temple in Greater Tainan on May 11.
五月十一日於台南市寺廟裡的媽祖神像。

Photo: Meng Ching-tzu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者孟慶慈

Last month Yunlin County’s Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) fined “Liufang Matsu of Dabeishi District” for breaking the Waste Disposal Act, which caused a heated debate at a county council meeting on May 28. Yunlin County Councilor Lee Chien-chih criticized the bureau for issuing a ticket to a deity, saying the move was preposterous. Fellow Yunlin County councilors Shen Ming-kung and Tsai Chiu-min also said they think the bureau is flawed.

Local ceremonial activities for the Liufang Matsu statue, including censer ceremonies and processions, are very important traditions in Yunlin County. Liufang Matsu does not have a temple where offerings can be made, so instead village leaders from the Yunlin County area, including Douliou, Dounan, Hunan, Huwei, Tuku and Dabei Township’s Wuku Village, take turns organizing the ceremonial offerings. Tens of thousands of worshippers usually turn up for the censer ceremonies and procession events.

Lee said that Douliou’s Dabeishi District was in charge of holding this year’s censer ceremony and procession, which was held on May 6. After the event, however, they received an official notice from the EPB unexpectedly charging “Liufang Matsu of Dabeishi District” with breaking the law, saying, “You broke the Waste Disposal Act on May 3 and must pay a fine of NT$1,200.”

Lee said that writing “Liufang Matsu” on the ticket means the deity is the one being fined, begging the question whether they should perform a rite in which the ticket is incinerated to relay the message to Liufang Matsu, and then throw divination blocks to ask the goddess whether she received the message? The EPB is improperly executing the law, Lee says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. fine v.

開罰 (kai1 fa2)

例: The police fined her for littering.

(她亂丟垃圾被警察罰款。)

2. flawed adj.

有瑕疵的 (you3 xia2 ci1 de5)

例: The system is flawed. How can you fix it?

(系統有瑕疵。你要怎麼修理?)

3. administrative adj.

行政的 (xing2 zheng4 de5)

例: These minor administrative details can be easily overlooked.

(這些瑣碎的行政細節很容易被忽略。)


Shen said the incident shows how inept the EPB’s administrative process is and that it is in need of serious review. Tsai, on the other hand, said that fining Matsu is the biggest joke in national history, and that as a follower of the goddess, she decided to pay the fine for her.

Yeh Te-hui, director of the bureau, said an EPB employee was sent to the intersection of Paochang and Changping roads after receiving a complaint from a local resident. The employee then wrote a ticket for breaking the Waste Disposal Act after finding a banner hanging across the road illegally. The person who represents Liufang Matsu has already been added to the back of the official document, Yeh says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

雲林環保局上個月依違反廢棄物清理法,開單告發「六房天上聖母大北勢股」,五月二十八日在議會引起熱烈討論。雲林縣議員李建志批簡直是開罰單給神明,實在「離譜」!縣議員沈銘恭、蔡秋敏也認為環保局作業有瑕疵。

六房媽(六房天上聖母)過爐遶境活動是雲林縣重要的民俗活動之一。六房媽沒有廟宇供奉,由斗六、斗南、虎尾、土庫及大埤鄉五股(地區)中的庄頭輪流供奉,過爐遶境活動時,有數萬名信徒隨香。

李建志表示,今年由斗六大北勢股輪值,過爐活動於五月六日舉行,活動後大北勢股收到一張環保局開出的裁處書,受文者竟寫「六房天上聖母大北勢股」,內容為「台端於五月三日違反廢棄物清理法,處一千二百元罰鍰。」

李建志指出,受文者為「六房媽」,等於是神明被開罰單,難道要把罰單火化給六房媽,並擲筊問媽祖是否收到公文,環保局顯然執法過當。

沈銘恭說,該事件環保局行政作業有瑕疵、有待檢討;蔡秋敏也說,媽祖被開罰單,真是全國最大的笑話,她以媽祖信徒的身分,為媽祖代繳罰款。

環保局長葉德惠表示,該案是民眾陳情,環保局派員實地訪查斗六保長路、長平路,發現數幅布條違規橫跨馬路懸掛,因此依違反廢清法開單,至於受文者,承辦人員已在公文後面加註代表人。

(自由時報記者黃淑莉)

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