Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) might not be receiving a New Year’s card from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) this year, the Presidential Office said yesterday.
Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said 88,000 New Year’s cards designed for and signed by the president and first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) have been printed, while 25,000 more, with a different design, have been signed by Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and his wife, Susan Chu (朱俶賢).
The cards will be mailed to foreign leaders and dignitaries, local officials and representatives, leaders from the industrial and cultural sectors, media outlets and athletes who have won in international competitions, Lo said.
Asked if Ma’s predecessor, who began serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison sentence earlier this month, would be receiving one, Lo was non-committal.
“Related agencies will assess all possibilities before they come up with the mailing list,” he said.
Lo would also not say whether Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君), who was controversially disqualified at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, last month, would receive one.
The inside of the president’s card includes greetings for the New Year in 17 different languages, including Chinese. The back of the card has a representation of the Republic of China (ROC) flag and the front is the hollowed-out number “100” to welcome the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ROC next year.
Lo said the design symbolized putting the past in perspective and looking forward to the future.
The vice president’s card, meanwhile, is shaped to represent the number “100.”
Its exterior is red and the inside gold. On the front are two rabbit icons and the Chinese characters for: “Happy 100th anniversary of the ROC,” and happy New Year in English.
Aside from the paper cards, Lo said cards using a different design would also be sent electronically.