The Executive Yuan said yesterday it would ask its agencies to be more sensitive after a comic strip designed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to promote a cross-strait economic pact was criticized as discriminatory.
Government Information Office Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said government agencies should be careful in publications not to offend anyone.
The remarks came after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday criticized the MOEA cartoon, which was designed to promote an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China.
The DPP said the comic strip was “extremely offensive and derogatory” because it described those who oppose the ECFA as stupid and uninformed about current events.
Su yesterday urged the public not to be offended.
“[Different government agencies] have different needs and considerations when promoting policies in different ways and for different purposes,” he said.
Asked whether the Executive Yuan would instruct the MOEA to scrap the comic strip, Su said it respected the authority of the ministry.
At a separate setting yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) described the comic strip as “ridiculous.”
“[The comic strip] should help the ministry promote this policy, but instead will create ethnic division,” she said.
The male character in the comic strip, “Yi-ge” (一哥), is a middle-aged, Hoklo-speaker from Tainan.
He is described as knowing little about the ECFA or economic matters and works as a salesman in a traditional industry.
He has a vocational school education, speaks “Taiwanese Mandarin” and is usually content to follow others. But when it comes to protecting himself, he “goes all out.” The profile says he is the kind of person who talks tough but never takes action.
In contrast, the female character, Fa-sao (發嫂) is an active, self-motivated and highly capable, married woman who is fluent in English, Mandarin, Hoklo and Japanese.
Her profile says she has a thirst for knowledge and knows what the ECFA is about.