Thu, Jan 29, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Society

Weather blamed for crime

Social order was generally good during the Lunar New Year holiday, statistics released yesterday by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) showed. Bureau officials said that during the six-day period, there were 81 major criminal cases reported, down 22 from 103 cases the previous year. There were 51 rob-beries and 16 burglary cases. There were also 11 man-slaughter cases, up nine cases from last year's holi-day, police said. They attributed the rise to the coldest holiday period in 11 years, so that when friends and relatives gathered they often lost control of them-selves under the influence of alcohol. The number of cases of rape and major burglaries were both fewer than 10, police reported.

■ Society

Whale's penis arouses envy

Scores of men have visited Tainan's Sutsao Wild Life Reservation Area where professors, students and volunteers were working on the corpse of a male whale, because they were curious about the whale's genitalia. The whale's penis measures 1.6m in length and it looks like a thick water pipe. More than 100 Tainan City resi-dents, mostly men, have reportedly gone to see the corpse to "experience" the size of its penis. The 60-tonne whale was found dead on the seashore of Yunlin County on Sunday. The county government sent the corpse to the National Cheng Kung University, whose biology professors wanted to preserve it as a specimen.

■ Health

NTUH prohibits bribes

National Taiwan University Hospital has set issued a code of conduct to regulate the widespread practice of giving red envelopes to doctors to ensure optimal health care. According to the new code, the first of its kind in the nation, hospital staff and workers are prohibited from accepting any red envelopes containing cash, gift certificates, or securities. However, gifts valued under NT$2,000 can be accepted. Doctors are also barred from encouraging patients to donate red envelopes to specific foundations. Hos-pital workers in charge of purchasing medical supplies are also prohibited from accepting bribes from medi-cal and pharmaceutical companies. Taiwan Health Care Reform Foundation chairwoman Chang Li-yun (張苙雲) yesterday said that while she supported the hospital's efforts, patients would have to stop giving red envelopes for the policy to be successful. The money in red envelopes given to doctors can reportedly amount to as much as NT$60,000 to NT$80,000 for organ-transplant operations.

■ Politics

Yu pledges clean vote

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday that his admin-istration will brook no violence or corruption in the March 20 presidential election. During the weekly Cabinet meeting, Yu said the fierce competition has given rise to allegations of vote-buying. In order to prevent the country from plunging again into the grip of "black gold" politics, Yu urged law-enforcement agencies to go all-out to maintain a clean, fair and just election. He said anyone found buying votes will be prosecuted regard-less of rank, status or political affiliation. Yu said the Ministry of Justice has opened a hotline (0800-024099) for tips on election irregularities. Police officers have also been asked to give special attention to prevent election-fixing, Yu said. The police department estimated that police officers will have to go on 100,000 election-related missions before March 20.

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