MAC urges better Macau ties
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday called for Macau to consider establishing a liaison office in Taiwan to help boost bilateral relations and exchanges. In a statement, the council congratulated Fernando Chui (崔世安) on his selection as the new chief executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region and called on him to increase bilateral ties. Noting that both Taiwan and Macau act as gateways to China, the council said stabilizing ties between Taiwan and Macau would be conducive to the development of cross-strait relations. The council statement expressed hope that Chui, who will replace Edmund Ho (何厚鏵) as chief executive of Macau, will strengthen ties with Taiwan based on the solid foundation that was laid by Ho and his administrative team over the past 10 years.
More men commit suicide
The number of men who committed suicide last year was twice as high as the number of women who killed themselves, while the number of women who sought help from suicide prevention networks was twice as large as men, Taiwan Society of Suicidology secretary-general Liao Shih-cheng (廖士程) told a news conference yesterday. Liao said the reason behind the difference may be the social expectation that men should be tougher and more self-reliant when it comes to emotions. He therefore urged men not to hesitate to find help, while also calling on families and friends to extend more psychological support to those in need. Meanwhile, the society’s chairman, Lee Ming-pin (李明濱), urged the government to create a suicide prevention hotline for men because female social workers answering existing hotlines may not be able to help suicidal males.
Prisons overcrowded: MOJ
Two years after the government commuted jail sentences as part of its effort to ease prison overcrowding, local penitentiaries are again jammed with inmates, judicial authorities said on Sunday. Statistics released by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) show that 65,148 people are now imprisoned, which is 10,224, or 18.6 percent, more than local prisons have the capacity to hold. The ratio is approaching the previous peak set in 2007, when the number of inmates exceeded prison capacity by 22.7 percent. That prompted the government to commute the sentences of many prisoners to free up prison cells.
Number of temples grows
There are 14,993 temples and churches for the nation’s 23 million residents, approximately one place of worship per 1,500 residents, statistics recently released by the Ministry of the Interior show. At the end of last year, Taiwan had 11,731 registered temples, 2,356 more than 10 years ago, and 3,262 churches, an increase of 145 over the same period. The 9,202 Taoist temples, many of which not only house Taoist folk deities but also idols of Buddha and the Buddhist goddess Guanyin (觀音), account for 78.4 percent of all temples. The 2,291 Buddhist temples account for 19.5 percent of the total and the 200 I-Kuan Tao temples account for 1.7 percent. Southern counties and cities have more temples than elsewhere in the country, with Tainan County leading the list with 1,245, followed by Kaohsiung County with 1,142 and Pingtung County with 1,068. Taipei City has the largest number of churches, with 432, followed by Hualien County’s 300 and Taitung County’s 266. Protestant churches outnumber Catholic churches by approximately three to one.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,