A lawmaker urged the Presidential Office yesterday to authorize Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corp (TTL) to sell inaugural commemoration liquor following rumors that TTL would not be producing a product this year to mark the nation’s 13th presidential inauguration next month.
The corporation and other distilleries have in the past always sold limited supplies of select bottles of liquor in commemoration of the inauguration of a new president and vice president.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said she was surprised to discover during a recent review of the corporation by the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee that TTL would not be able to manufacture commemorative liquor for the 13th inauguration.
Lu said the corporation was unable to obtain permission from the Presidential Office to use pictures of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is to be inaugurated on May 20 for his second term, and vice -president-elect Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).
According to Lu, the corporation, in accordance with past practice, asked the Presidential Office to use pictures of the president and vice president-elect for the liquors, but was refused permission.
Lu said the refusal might have been because of other pressing matters of state.
However, she added, production of commemoration liquors would not only ensure national treasury income, it would also keep alive a good tradition.
Not selling the liquor would be a heavy blow to people who have collected commemorative liquors for all the previous presidents and vice presidents, Lu said, calling on the Presidential Office to authorize the corporation to produce the commemorative liquors to avoid disappointing people.
Lu added that she had visited the central Mint and had ascertained that commemoration coins would be produced and distributed in line with past practices.
Responding to Lu’s comments, the Presidential Office said the inaugural ceremony would be simple, solemn and cost-conscious, adding that the office had refused not only the offers of the TTL, but also the applications of all other alcohol manufacturers.
Commemoration stamps would, as in the past, be manufactured and sold by Chunghwa Postal Co, the office said.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer