Tue, Jun 03, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■ TRANSPORTATION

Kaohsiung mulls free MRT

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said yesterday that the city government could provide free travel on the city’s MRT system on certain Fridays. Chen told reporters after an administrative meeting yesterday morning that the city government was considering subsidizing passengers taking the MRT with the city’s air pollution fund. The city’s Environmental Protection Bureau has levied an “air pollution fee” from construction companies for their construction projects since July 1997. Chen said the city government was still deliberating details of the plan, but that the free rides were likely to be granted on certain Fridays, adding that it had also organized an “energy conservation and carbon dioxide emission task force.”

■ AVIATION

FAT loses domestic rights

The Civil Aeronautics Administration last night announced that the already cash-strapped Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) would lose the rights to all of its domestic flights for failing to meet conditions stipulated by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. CAA Director-General Billy Chang (張國政) said that unless FAT finds an influx of capital by June 15, the airline’s international flights would also be suspended and that the CAA would revoke the company’s operating license. FAT is being penalized for its failure to pay monthly takeoff and landing fees for its airplanes, employees’ wages and other operational costs. Last month, the company made a surprise announcement that it would suspend operations.

■ CULTURE

Ma makes museum call

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has asked Miaoli County not to use his name for a planned museum dedicated to him, the Presidential Office said yesterday. Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said that Ma had talked with Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) by telephone and made the request personally. Ma also expressed the hope that Liu would talk with local historical and cultural experts to see if the county government would proceed. Ma has not yet decided whether to donate his personal belongs to the museum for display, Wang said. The Miaoli County Government came under fire after allocating NT$50 million (US$1.6 million) to build the museum in Tongsiao Township’s (通宵) Ma Village (馬家庄), a traditional village whose residents are mostly surnamed Ma. While Liu argued that the project would help boost tourism in the county, some slammed it as an attempt by Liu to fawn on Ma. Liu claimed Ma had called him to lend his support to the project. The Hong Kong-born Ma’s ancestors did not come from the village and none of his family has ever lived in the village.

■ FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Yuan tapped for US envoy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed yesterday that it was consulting with Washington over the appointment of Jason Yuan (袁健生) as the next representative to the US. In his first reception with reporters, Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) confirmed that Yuan, who has served as the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) and the People First Party’s representative to the US since 2004, has been tapped by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to be the nation’s representative in Washington. “Yuan is experienced and well connected in Washington and has a profound understanding of the political situation in the US, which makes him very suitable for the post,” Ou said. Deputy Representative to the US Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷) said he expects the US government to reply within “a reasonable period of time.”

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