Donation reports due soon
The majority of the candidates in the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections, including President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and former Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), have not submitted reports on their campaign donations, the Control Yuan said. Among the presidential candidates, only People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and his running mate have filed reports ahead of the April 16 deadline, Control Yuan deputy secretary-general Hsu Hai-chuan (許海泉) said. The Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) requires that candidates open a dedicated account at an approved financial institution and file an accounting report within three months after polling day. Violators could face fines of between NT$200,000 (US$6,777) and NT$1 million, Hsu said.
Wu Den-yih not visiting US
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denied that vice president-elect Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) plans to visit the US before his inauguration on May 20. The ministry made the statement following a report by the Chinese-language China Times, which said Wu received an invitation from the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace to deliver a speech at the US-based think tank. The institute extended the invitation after the Jan. 14 presidential election, but government officials and Wu’s aides said he wished to keep a low profile as it was a highly sensitive matter, the report said. Ministry spokesperson James Chang (章計平) said the ministry, which is responsible for arranging high-level visits by government officials to the US, was not aware of any planned trip.
MRT helps visually impaired
The Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) yesterday said it would set up waiting areas designed for visually impaired passengers at the MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station, its latest effort to create a friendly environment for passengers with disabilities. TRTC’s public relations director Leo Ling (凌啟堯) said the company would set up chairs at the station’s platform for visually impaired passengers to wait for guided service from station staff. The new facility should help station staff identify visually impaired passengers more easily and provide assistance more efficiently. Similar seats will be set up at other major MRT stations in the near future, he said. Visually impaired passengers can take advantage of the guide service at MRT stations by calling the company’s service hotline, (02) 2181-2345, Ling said
Queen Beatrix gets orchids
Taiwan on Wednesday presented a new breed of the Phalaenopsis orchid to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands at the Floriade 2012 horticultural exhibition. The gift was delivered via the show’s organizers to the queen, who presided over the opening ceremony. Taiwan is planning to register the new breed of orchid with the UK-based Royal Horticultural Society under the name “Happy Venlo,” to commemorate its participation in the horticultural show in the Dutch city. Floral artist Cheng Hsiu-wei (鄭秀煒), who designed the pot of orchids for Queen Beatrix, said the display also included a bamboo lantern from Lugang (鹿港) in Changhua County, Hakka-style floral print cloth and traditional knotwork. Taiwan previously presented another new species of orchid to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II during the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show in London.