The recent announcement by the Ministry of the Interior of a measure requiring the renewal of national identification cards on July 1 has drawn calls on tribespeople to reclaim their Aboriginal names. \n"Aboriginal names have been buried under cultural and political oppression over the years," said Mayaw Biho (馬耀比吼), a documentary filmmaker and key player in a campaign to rectify the names of the nation's Aboriginals. \n"After more than 20 years since the launch of the first name-rectification campaign, many Aborigines are still reluctant to change their names," Mayaw said. \nMayaw has made several documentary films related to Aboriginal issues. The Amis tribe native uses his documentaries as a means to share Aboriginal culture with others. His films have won several awards and screened at film festivals around the world, including the 2004 Riddu Festival in Norway and the Taipei Biennial Festival. Capitalizing on July's national identification card renewal period as an opportunity to persuade more Aboriginals to change their names, Mayaw plans to shoot three promotional ads to raise public awareness about what he says is a necessity for indigenous people to use their native names. \nMayaw's plan has garnered support from private sponsors. He was awarded the 2004 Keep Walking Fund of NT$1,000,000. The fund, co-sponsored by the Chinatimes Cultural and Educational Foundation and Jonnie Walker Corp, encourages people to carry out their dreams through creativity. \nIn addition to television broadcasts, Mayaw's ads may also appear on the TV screens at MRT stations starting from May, with the assistance of the Taipei City Indigenous People's Commission. \nName rectification empowers Aboriginals and helps them become self-aware, People's Commission secretary Feng Ya-chun (封雅君) said, adding that Mayaw's ads might serve to subtly encourage Aborigines to adopt their original names. \nIn 2003, Taipei County's Administration Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs set up a one-stop service the enables Aboriginals to change the names on their identification and health insurance cards and other documents all at once. \nTaiwan's Aboriginals were not allowed to use their tribal names under the Japanese colonial period and the subsequent Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime. It was not until 1995, after continuous lobbying by activists, that the KMT government allowed Aboriginals to use their original names. \nThe 1995 amendments to the Statute of Names (姓名條例) assured indigenous people of the right to use their Aboriginal names. Later, in 2003, another amendment to the law gave Aboriginals the right to list their original names in Romanized form along with the Chinese version of their names on identification cards, according to the Ministry of Interior. \nBut Aboriginal rights advocates are not satisfied with the progress being made. \nMayaw said that after a decade of having the right to do so, only 756 Aboriginals have reclaimed their traditional name -- less than 1 percent of the total Aboriginal population, or around 450,000 people in Taiwan. \n"Discrimination against people with Aboriginal names discourages many from changing their names. The government has failed to give an additional incentives [to name changing] beyond amendments to the law," said Lin Pi-ching (林碧清), a non-Aboriginal webmaster of the Amis film-making team, which is dedicated to promoting Aboriginal name rectification through documentaries. \nMayaw, who began using his Aboriginal name instead of his Han Chinese name, Peng Shi-sheng (彭世生), in college, said he didn't changed it officially until 2000 because of the complicated procedure. \n"My father is not an Aboriginal, and my mother adopted a Han name when she married. In order to take an Aboriginal name, I first had to change my mother's identity back to Aboriginal so I could prove that I was an Aboriginal and rectify my name," he said. \nThe limited knowledge of staff at registration offices across the nation about the uniqueness of Aboriginal names also adds to the difficulty of name rectification. \n"The limited space for filling out names in most of the forms is inconvenient for Aboriginals, whose names are usually longer than the Han ones. Some officers would ask people to delete one character or two to have their names fit in the space, which is ridiculous and rude," Mayaw said. \nVice Interior Minister Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said the new identification cards will have no space limitation for names. \n"We understand the importance for Aboriginals to acquire their original names. Many city and county governments now offer one-stop services for name rectification, which are faster and more convenient," Chien said. \nBut the fact is that staff at local household registration offices haven't been trained to serve Aboriginals in this matter, which has resulted in negative experiences among many Aboriginals. \nBut Siew Cheng-chia (蕭成洽), chief of the ministry's Household Registration Administration, says name rectification procedure is not difficult. \n"I think the name rectification procedure is simple and easy. Our local offices are more than happy to provide assistance, so Aboriginals should have no difficulty in changing their name," Siew said. \nMayaw said the government should more actively help promote name rectification. In addition to training to local household registration office staff, the government should also allow tribal tours to educate people there of the importance of getting their original names back. \nNevertheless, the campaign for Aboriginal name rectification will continue until all Aboriginals adopt their original names, Mayaw said. \n"When you see Aboriginal politicians still using their Chinese names, you know that the campaign still has a long way to go," he said.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a bid to revitalize the party’s archives, KMT officials said yesterday at a news conference in Taipei that showcased a ceremonial sword belonging to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), the first piece of the collection to be utilized in the project. NFTs are a blockchain technology used for digital files that provide proof of ownership or a certificate of authenticity. KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Lin Chia-hsing (林家興), who is also the curator of the archives, said that digitizing the collection is part of the party’s efforts to revamp its