Sun, Aug 12, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma thanks Chen for turning his ideas into formal policies

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday mocked President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for copying his campaign ideas and adopting them as government policy.

Ma was referring to Chen's announcement during a meeting with representatives of a fishermen's association on Friday that he would raise the oil subsidy for the fishing industry to 14 percent immediately.

The president's announcement echoed Ma's proposal on Thursday, when the KMT candidate promised to raise the oil for the fishing industry to 14 percent if elected.

In a visit to Hsinchu County in April, Ma also proposed raising elderly farmers' monthly pension from NT$5,000 (US$150) to NT$6,000.

"I thanked President Chen for implementing my policies. Although he stole my ideas, it is still a good thing as long as the public benefits," Ma said in Chiayi yesterday.

Ma said the president had adopted four of his campaign proposals, namely, increasing pensions for elderly farmers, repairing the walkway in the Central Cross-Island Highway, extending the nine-year compulsory education program by adding preschool education and raising the fishing industry's oil subsidy.

Ma said he was glad that the president was willing to adopt his campaign ideas, as those policies should have been implemented long ago.

"Those policies should not have been implemented only during elections," Ma said.

"I welcome President Chen to continue adopting my ideas. I will have more good policies to present," he said.

During his meeting with local farmers in Chiayi, Ma also proposed an "eco-friendly agriculture" program, promising to assist the agricultural industry in making better and full use of farmlands while protecting the environment.

He also pledged to transform the country into a flower and sub-tropical fruit hub to increase farmers' profits.

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