Ma seeks talks
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday he hopes to meet with members of the opposition in an effort to seek national unity. Ma said that over the past few months, he has contacted opposition parties to express his wish to discuss national issues with them at an appropriate time. “I hope this will help reduce unnecessary in-fighting and unite our strengths,” he said at a luncheon hosted by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平). Ma said his Jan. 14 re-election was not a personal or partisan victory. Instead, it showed that more than 50 percent of voters supported the policies adopted in his first four-year term, marked by the pursuit of clean government, a vibrant economy and peaceful relations with China. Ma also said he has been examining the possible reasons behind his loss of more than 760,000 votes compared with four years ago, adding he did some deep soul-searching during the Lunar New Year holiday to try to identify areas that failed to live up to people’s expectations.
Kyrgyz charity thanks group
The Mercy Charitable Christian Foundation of Kyrgyzstan yesterday thanked a Taiwanese charity group for sending much-needed aid to the country. The foundation’s president, John Tsai (蔡柏林), visited the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families in Taichung and thanked it for adopting Kyrgyzstan in December last year and providing educational and medical assistance to poor children. Tsai, a Taiwanese who began setting up schools in the Central Asian country at the urging of a member of his church, said he was grateful for the fund’s financial aid because the downturn in the European and US economies had cut into his group’s fundraising activities. Tsai hoped that more community service exchanges could take place between Kyrgyzstan and Taiwan in the future and help set an example for the children. Since adopting Kyrgyzstan, one of the world’s poorest countries, the fund has helped 98 children living in poverty by improving their nutritional intake, hygiene and medical care, fund chairman Lin Po-jung (林柏榕) said.
‘Linsanity’ shirts on sale
The first shipment of NBA-sanctioned blueT-shirts emblazoned with the word “Linsanity” to depict the meteoric rise of New York Knicks basketball sensation Jeremy Lin (林書豪) went on sale in Taiwan yesterday. The NBA’s official partner, Adidas, last week marketed official white T-shirts like the one Lin wears in Knicks home games, which sold out on the first day. In addition to an orange-colored “Linsanity,” the new blue T-shirts feature the point guard’s full English name above the word and the Knicks’ logo below it. Later this month, Adidas is scheduled to release T-shirts that resemble the one Lin wears in away games, a company spokesman said, adding that Lin swingman jerseys for home and away games will go on sale by the middle of the year.
Orchid show opens
The Taiwan International Orchid Show opened yesterday, with the public invited to attend the show today in Greater Tainan. Orchids are considered by the government to be a “treasure of Tainan” and through the show, the city can share the beauty of the flowers with the world, Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said at the opening ceremony. Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Huang Yu-tsai (黃有才) said the show, now in its ninth year, is one of the top three orchid fairs in the world.