Ma to have health check
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his family will have a medical team attend to their health and Ma will have his first check-up since taking the oath of office on Tuesday, the Presidential Office announced yesterday. The office issued a statement saying that the health of the president has been a matter of public concern. Ma, who is an avid runner, is in perfect health, but to set an example for his ministers, he will have his first physical at National Taiwan University Hospital. The date is still being arranged. The office will also invite Chang Heng (張珩), director of the Shin Kong Wu Ho-su Memorial Hospital and former director of Taipei City Government’s Department of Health, to lead the team looking after Ma and his family, the statement said.
Luo mulls possible poll bid
Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉) yesterday said that he would seriously consider running in a legislative by-election in Taipei City’s Da-an District if Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) decides to resign her position. Lee has come under harsh criticism from DPP legislators over allegations she has retained her US citizenship, allegations that she denies. The legislature has requested that all legislators submit information about their nationality to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the week following the end of the plenary session on June 3. The legislature has also requested that government agencies submit nationality information on all public officials within three months of that date. Luo yesterday urged the legislature and judiciary to probe Lee’s case, saying that while the public believed the truth of the matter had come to light, Lee thought otherwise.
No plans for Myanmar aid
The government has no plan to send aid workers to Myanmar after the junta announced on Friday that it would accept foreign aid workers of any nationality. “So far, I haven’t heard of any new plan [initiated by the government] to send in aid workers,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) said. “It would mainly be non-governmental aid groups that would go to the country to help.” The junta’s announcement that it would accept all foreign aid workers came after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited and toured the Irrawaddy Delta area devastated by Cyclone Nargis last week.
Aid campaign launched
The Fo Guang Shan Temple in Flushing, Queens — the largest borough of New York — and a local chapter of the Buddha Light International Association (BLIA) have jointly launched a campaign to raise funds to help earthquake victims in China’s Sichuan Province, setting a target of US$100,000. The temple is a branch of the Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Kaohsiung County, while the BLIA is the lay service of the monastery. After performing a Buddhist ritual on Saturday, six resident Buddhist monks and some 100 BLIA members, led by the temple’s head abbess Yung Ku, marched along the streets toward a shopping center in Flushing — a neighborhood which has a concentration of about 400 businesses owned by ethnic Chinese. Within hours, they received donations amounting to more than US$10,000, including contributions by individual shoppers. Temple officials said the fund-raising drive would continue this week in other neighborhoods of New York.