Mon, Feb 07, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Hsieh vows stiffer penalties for bad pork sellers

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday vowed to crack down on those who illegally sell meat from sick and dead pigs, so that they cannot afford to commit the same crime ever again.

"We'll continue to arrest illegal meat suppliers and distributors selling bad pork, seize their assets and make them so broke that they don't dare to do it again," he said.

Hsieh emphasized that it is the government's responsibility to punish law-breakers and protect the law-abiding, and that if it fails in that duty the public will lose their trust in the government.

"We're not asking too much to have those who trample on the laws to pay for what they did to innocent people," he said.

Hsieh made the remarks yesterday morning while wishing a happy Lunar New Year to his old neighbors in Taipei City's "blacksmith street," between Jinxi Street and Xingchen Street, where he grew up.

Hsieh said that what upset him most about the incident was that many people in the distribution chain were aware of illegal activity, but chose to turn a blind eye to it. He contrasted that behavior with the lessons he learned as a child.

"I remember when I was little, there were many places in my neighborhood teaching people to do good deeds and I enjoyed very much going there and listening to their stories," he said.

The tainted pork sales reflect the decline in ethics and education in today's society.

"It might sound a little old-fashioned if I say the moral principles and ethics of the society must be restored," he said. "However, I thought it was very important."

He also told reporters a joke about fake poison which failed to kill a man wishing to kill himself. When the man tried to celebrate that he was still alive, he was killed by fake wine.

"The moral of the story is that anything that's fake is bad," Hsieh said.

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