Sat, Nov 06, 2004 - Page 2 News List

KMT legislator slams Penghu `bride vendor'

STAFF WRITER

Opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsu Chung-hsiung (徐中雄) at a press conference yesterday criticized foreign-bride matchmaker businesses Penghu County and condemned the related government agencies for their neglect of duty, the local media reported yesterday.

According to Hsu, vendors have been introducing foreign women to Taiwanese bachelors publicly in front of a Penghu temple for the Taoist goddess Matsu -- the goddess of the sea.

Pay and Go

The vendors make the women line up in front of the temple. The women can be purchased for NT$300,000 (US$9,000) and customers can bring their new brides home immediately.

"This mocks the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, which claims to have upheld human rights," Hsu said yesterday.

"The government is doing nothing about this inappropriate matchmaking business," Hsu also said.

"This may turn Taiwan into a global women-selling hub."

In response to the case, Chen Tzu-ho (陳子和), the section chief of the Department of Population under the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), who also attended the press conference said yesterday that the government is already starting to address the problem.

Chen said that the MOI is taking action over illegal ads for Chinese women, and both the advertisers and the media that runs such ads will face fines for violating the Statute Governing the Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例).

The statute states that anyone who is engaged in selling brides will face a fine of no less than NT$100,000.

Laws Ignored

Ads of this nature were banned by the MOI in August this year, but most matchmaking agencies and some media outlets have ignored the law.

Some matchmaking agencies promote their wares on local cable TV channels, claiming that all their women are young virgins with work visas from China, Vietnam, and other Asian countries.

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