The Presidential Office yesterday said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had apologized for the inconvenience he caused during a recent visit to a typhoon-struck area by helicopter, and would donate NT$100,000 to fund the repairs.
The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) reported on Friday that when Ma and his guards recently visited Kaohsiung County’s Liouguei Township (六龜), the ensemble landed three helicopters on Hsinfa Elementary School at once, causing the school to sustain damages “as if there was a typhoon.”
After estimating the damage, school officials demanded NT$100,000 in compensation from the Ministry of National Defense.
“Ma is not welcome if he wants to come again, he is just here to cause chaos,” a school worker was quoted as saying.
Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) yesterday said Ma felt apologetic after he saw the report, and that he had asked Presidential Office Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) to phone the school’s principal to offer an apology and monetary compensation.
Wang said the principal, Chou Shu-hui (周淑蕙), had told Chan that the report mistook her intentions, because she did not demand government compensation, adding that she asked Ma not to worry about funding the school’s reconstruction as the school was eligible to apply for disaster relief funding.
Ma donated the money anyway to aid its cleanup and buy extra food for school children in exchange for the inconvenience he had caused, Wang said.