Ma fined for Facebook post
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) regrets the illegal campaign activity on his Facebook page during the presidential campaign and will pay a fine in accordance with the law, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday. The Central Election Commission (CEC) on Tuesday fined Ma NT$500,000 (US$16,800) for violating the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法) by soliciting votes on his campaign headquarters’ Facebook page on Jan. 14, the day of the election. The Facebook page, titled Taiwan Bravo, posted the contents of Ma’s speech made at a campaign rally on the eve of the election, in which he called for voter support on election day. KMT spokesperson Lai Su-ju (賴素如) yesterday said Taiwan Bravo staff posted the article on the Facebook page following the speech without knowing that the move violated the law, as the content was posted after midnight.
Former AIT diplomat dies
Darrell Jenks, chief of the American Institute in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Branch Office from 1996 to 1999, passed away on Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, the AIT said in a statement yesterday. The AIT invited friends of Jenks who would like to pay their condolences to stop by the office from yesterday to May 31. The office has prepared a condolence book for people to sign and leave messages that will be forwarded to his family after May 31. During his tenure in Kaohsiung, Jenks was active in Taiwanese language studies and jazz performance, the AIT said. Jenks was admired for his outgoing personality and exceptional linguistic abilities. He spoke eight languages in addition to English, including Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese, the AIT said.
FAT plane leaves runway
A Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) plane appeared to overrun the runway when it landed at Magong airport yesterday morning. No injuries were reported. The Aviation Safety Council has begun an investigation into the incident, which delayed eight other flights. The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said the FAT plane departed from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 9:45am and landed at Magong airport in Penghu County at 10:45am. The pilot apparently failed to brake in time to come to a stop at the end of the runway and the aircraft’s tires crushed lighting off the temporary runway. In a statement, FAT said the aircraft did not overrun the runway and simply exceeded a stop line on the runway. The company said the incident could have been caused by strong winds and rain.
Kaohsiung gets i-pass
The Kaohsiung MRT system is to launch its first custom-made i-pass card in an effort to boost the system’s low ridership, Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) said yesterday. The stored-value cards, designed for residents living along MRT lines, can be used as security access control cards for their homes, and can also be used on city buses, the MRT and ferries, the KRTC said. Cardholders can also use them for purchases at some stores and for taking buses in Taipei, Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Pingtung County. KRTC general manager Hau Chien-sheng (郝建生) expressed hope that cooperating with a local real-estate development company would increase ridership. The average passenger count per day last month was 145,353.