Tue, Aug 05, 2008 - Page 3 News List

‘Taiwan Post’ sent into history

STAMPED OUT The name of the state-run postal company was changed back to the original title Chunghwa Post, in a low-key ceremony in Taipei

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Customers leave through the front door of a branch of the Chunghwa Post Co in Taipei yesterday. The state-run company resumed using its original name containing the word “Chinese,” which had been dropped by former president Chen Shui-bian’s government.

PHOTO: PATRICK LIN, AFP

Former Directorate General of Posts director Hsu Chieh-kuei (許介圭) criticized former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration yesterday for its name-change policy, calling it nothing more than political maneuvering.

“To a lot of postal workers, it [changing the name from Chunghwa Post to Taiwan Post] is a history that is too painful to recall,” he said.

Hsu made the comments during a ceremony held yesterday to mark the change of the postal company’s name back to Chunghwa Post.

Unlike last year, when the company hosted an hour-long inauguration ceremony attended by Chen and former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to mark the change to Taiwan Post, yesterday’s ceremony lasted only 15 minutes and was attended only by company employees and retirees.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) and other high-ranking ministry officials were not invited.

The ceremony ended with representatives of the Chunghwa Post Workers’ Union hailing a victory.

Tsai Liang-chuan (蔡兩全), the workers’ union chairman, said after the ceremony that the Control Yuan had launched an investigation into the name change.

“All those who were involved in making the decision and executing the policy — including Chen Shui-bian, former minister of communications and transportation Tsai Duei [蔡堆], former Chunghwa Post chairman Lai Chin-chyi (賴清祺) and current chairman Wu Min-yu (吳民佑) — must be held accountable for this wrong policy,” Tsai Liang-chuan said.

Wu said the two name changes have cost the company about NT$20 million (US$666,000).

In a statement on Friday, the company said customers could continue using savings account booklets with Taiwan Post appearing on the cover.

All transactions under the name Taiwan Post are still considered valid by the company.

Meanwhile, the company would continue using deposit receipts and other stationery bearing the name Taiwan Post, but would stamp them with the official Chunghwa Post seal.

Asked for comment, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) said it was “reasonable” for the company to change its name back now that the KMT was in power.

She said the legislature never approved the postal service’s proposal to change its name to Taiwan Post, adding that as a result “Taiwan Post never existed.”

She said Chen should be held accountable for the money the company has had to spend to change back its name because he ordered the move for political gains.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) told a press conference that “few people outside Taiwan know where letters with the Chunghwa Post postmark are from.”

She said the company should at least keep “Taiwan” on the postmark, as it would allow more people abroad to know that Taiwan is a sovereign state.

DPP caucus whip Chang Hwa-kuan (張花冠) said it was ridiculous for “the post company to spend NT$20 million to diminish ‘Taiwan’ and reinstate ‘Chunghwa.’”

Additional reporting by Flora Wang and Rich Chang

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