Shih claim false: PO
The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Shih Ming-teh’s (施明德) claim that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had agreed to grant an overnight rally after Shih promised not to run in the presidential election last year. Shih launched a protest movement in August 2006 aimed at forcing then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to resign. Shih said on Friday that Ma, who was Taipei mayor in 2006, had met him to discuss the movement and agreed to extend the hours of the movement overnight after Shih declared he would not run in the presidential election. Presidential Office spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) confirmed yesterday that Shih and Ma met to discuss the legitimacy of the anti-Chen movement. However, the president did not ask about Shih’s political aspirations and did not ask anything in exchange for the extension to the rally, Wang said.
Saving program pays off
An incentive program introduced by the state-owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) to encourage energy conservation has helped decrease household electricity consumption by 2.84 billion kilowatt-hours over the past eight months, company officials said yesterday. The reduction means that carbon dioxide emissions were down by 1.79 million tonnes and that the discount to consumers on electricity bills amounted to NT$14.2 billion (US$407.9) between July and last month, the officials said. The program, which came into effect in July, gives consumers a discount of up to 20 percent if they use the same amount or less electricity than the previous year.
Association needs money
A charitable organization in Nantou County that has distributed meals to senior citizens since a devastating earthquake hit in 1999 is now desperately in need of donations to stay afloat. The Long-Yan-Lin Welfare Association has distributed more than 1 million free boxed meals to the elderly since the devastating magnitude 7.3 earthquake rattled Taiwan on Sept. 21, 1999, said Chen Teh-an (陳德安), president of the Taichung Sungchu Rotary Club. Operations could soon be suspended, however, because of financial difficulties, Chen said. Chen’s Rotary Club chapter donated NT$100,000 to the association on Friday, hoping this would lead to more donations from around the country — particularly the business community — to enable the association to continue helping people. Chen said the association was considering launching for-profit businesses to raise money for meals, which cost more than NT$5 million annually.