Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳) went to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday to accuse President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and others of malfeasance in handling the flooding caused by Typhoon Morakot.
Tsai pressed the bell in front of the prosecutor’s office to hand in a petition that asks for an immediate investigation into whether Ma, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrew Hsia (夏立言) neglected to perform their official duties, causing large numbers of people to become victims of the typhoon.
Tsai accused the three of causing irreparable damage to the people of southern Taiwan. All three have been widely criticized over their handling of the disaster.
Hsia was the first official to tender a resignation over the government’s much criticized relief effort when he claimed responsibility for Ministry of Foreign Affairs cable dated Aug. 11 that instructed overseas representative offices to reject offers of foreign aid except for cash.
“Immediate rescue efforts could have minimized the death toll caused by typhoon Morakot,” said Tsai, adding that the ministry’s rejection of foreign aid during such critical hours when the people of Taiwan needed help from overseas was a clear sign that the government did not put the interests of its people first.
Tsai urged prosecutors to act quickly because officials may attempt to destroy evidence such as signed documents.
In related news, a dispute over driftwood blocking fishing ports appears at an impass.
After inspecting Jiangjyun Port in Tainan County, Forestry Bureau officials said yesterday that most of thewood along the coast did not come from state-owned forests. They told Jiangjyun fishermen that question of who should clear the driftwood will be referred to the central government.
Fishermen said they have incurred huge losses as the woodpiles have damaging their boats.
“We are suffering from dual losses, with our equipment damaged and our fishing operations at a complete halt,” they said.
Many fishing ports and coastal estuaries have been clogged with thousands of tonnes of driftwood since Morakot struck.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it has allocated NT$68 million (US$2.32 million) to build an Internet-of-things (IoT) platform that would facilitate proactive maintenance of the railway system and enhance service punctuality. The agency said that it decided to build the platform to promote horizontal communication among its departments after an investigation into the Puyuma Express derailment in October 2018 found that its four main departments — electrical engineering, rolling stock, construction and transportation — failed to share information with one another. The platform would use artificial intelligence to analyze maintenance data collected by its departments, including railway crossings,