Funeral work more popular
In the past, most people tried to avoid working in the funeral business, but this has changed as people struggle to stay afloat in the current economic storm. The results of an open poll released yesterday by www.ejob.gov.tw, an employment service Web site run by the Council of Labor Affairs, showed that the funeral profession was the fifth most popular field out of 10 choices given to the respondents. The poll, which was launched on Feb. 1, drew 7,242 participants as of Thursday, 11.53 percent of whom indicated that they were interested in entering the funeral business. This was a more popular choice than the field of finance, which lost popularity after the global financial crisis began. In the poll, funeral services ranked fifth behind computer software and hardware development, which drew 18.02 percent of the vote. Second place was the restaurant and bakery business, with 16.64 percent, followed by child care services, with 15.21 percent and employment services, with 11.95 percent.
Visa fees for Thais waived
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced that it would waive the NT$1,600 visa application fee for all Thai passport holders when applying for a visa to Taiwan for the three months between March 5 and June 4, calling the waiver a reciprocal gesture. The courtesy was extended after Bangkok on Thursday announced that Taiwanese nationals would no longer have to pay a visa fee during the same period. MOFA said the privilege aimed to boost tourism between Thailand and Taiwan. Taiwan receives approximately 30,000 Thai tourists annually, while over 300,000 Taiwanese visit Thailand per year.
Court annuls election result
The Taichung District Court yesterday annulled the election of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Lien-fu (江連福) on vote-buying charges in the first civil suit brought by his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rival Chien Chao-tung (簡肇棟). The verdict is not final and Chiang told reporters that he would appeal. Chien filed an annulment suit against Chiang last year on the grounds that he gave NT$50,000 to a Chien supporter. Chiang was also indicted on vote-buying charges in a criminal suit in January last year along with several others. Prosecutors sought a five-year sentence for Chiang, but the district court found him not guilty in May last year, saying that it was illegal for the DPP to collect vote-buying evidence against Chiang by videotaping him with a pinhole camera.
DPP dismisses Chen son bid
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday dismissed a China Times Weekly magazine report that said former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) son Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) would run in a legislative election in Kaohsiung. Chen Chih-chung and his wife Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚) last week relocated their residence from Taipei City to Kaohsiung City. “I never heard anything like this,” DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday, adding that he thought Chen Chih-chung should prioritize the money-laundering case against him and his family. Echoing Ker’s remarks, DPP Legislator Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) said Chen Chih-chung should focus on his case. “If he really wants to run in legislative election, I will try to talk him out of it,” Wang said.