Countering the craze for piggy bank donation boxes among Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday handed out 5,000 talismans to the public as his re-election campaign opened its regional campaign headquarters in Nantou County.
“Only when Taiwan has peace will the people be happy,” Ma said.
“We should hide our wealth among the people and create opportunities for the people to become more affluent, not just send out piggy banks to raise money from the people,” he added, referencing the DPP’s “three little pigs” campaign that has called on the public to fill piggy banks to support the presidential campaign of DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
The amulets handed out contained the words, “Taiwan Peace.”
Ma said he got the idea for the amulets when the mother of a fruit farmer, whose house he stayed at on Friday night as part of his home-stay tour, gave him a peace amulet, saying that it was a gift from her friends.
Although the price for one talisman is about NT$3, it is what the amulet symbolizes — peace — that is most important, Ma said.
Ma said his administration has already created opportunities for Taiwanese to become more affluent, saying that since allowing Chinese tourists to visit, the number of tourists in Nantou increased 13 fold, helping to raise the average income per household from among the nation’s top 20 to the top 10.
On the issue of cross-strait relations, Ma said that in light of warmer relations with China, the international community was perceiving Taiwan differently than from past administrations and that he would continue to work hard for peace and the happiness of the nation’s people.