President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday took his 91-year-old mother shopping for Lunar New Year treats.
Chaperoning his mother on a shopping spree at Xinglong Market in Taipei City’s Wenshan District (文山) one day before Lunar New Year’s Eve is an annual ritual for Ma. In all, Ma and his mother, Chin Hou-hsiu (秦厚修), spent NT$3,190 on pork, chicken, fruit, vegetables, dumplings, cooked food and flowers yesterday.
Holding his mother’s hand, Ma offered New Year greetings and handed out red envelopes to vendors and shoppers at the market.
He told reporters that when he was little, his grandmother would take him grocery shopping in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, but that that was 50 or 60 years ago.
In recent years, he has accompanied his mother to do the New Year grocery shopping and he felt happy that a “60-year-old son can help his 91-year-old mother do her grocery shopping.”
However, Ma’s mother complained, saying she is not 91.
“She insists that she is only 89,” Ma said.
After grocery shopping, Ma said he would have dinner with his family on Lunar New Year’s Eve.
Meanwhile, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had a more political day, during which he called on Taiwanese to rid themselves of the current government, which he described as one “running counter to the public will.”
“Our government gauges China’s mood when it comes to the economy, foreign affairs and human rights,” he said in his Lunar New Year greeting on his Facebook page. “It really worries us.”
Taiwanese must realize that the true meaning of democracy is the people are the real masters of their country. Although the public has different opinions on government policies, they cannot express their opinions through referendums, he said, seriously undermining Taiwan’s democratic system.
“A government running counter to the people’s will should be replaced, just like the house-cleaning we do before the Lunar New Year,” he said. “This year is critical for Taiwan. It is an opportunity for change and that includes the legislative and the presidential polls.”
Taiwanese must realize that their ballots decide the future of Taiwan, he said, and only a government that will give them happiness will create a bright future. Lee said he would work together with the public to achieve that goal.
Lee also distributed red envelopes to close friends and relatives.
The design on the 2,000 red envelopes had a rabbit printed in gold and the words sin-ni kiong-hi (新年恭禧), happy new year in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese).
The card is shaped like a double door. Inside is a NT$5 coin at the top followed by five Chinese characters from top to bottom. The coin and characters form the phrase “we are destined to be friends (五圓/有緣大家來作伙).”
A couplet on both sides of the card encourages recipients to work together for Taiwan’s democracy.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”