President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said that the nation’s economy was slowly but steadily recovering, and promised to lead Taiwan out of this “economic tunnel.”
At an annual national breakfast prayer yesterday, Ma acknowledged that the economic recovery had been very slow, but expressed optimism about the outlook in the future.
“We have faced a bad economic situation this year, but we’ve seen some positive signs since September. The economy is in slow recovery and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The government will not be content, as the road to the end of the tunnel is still long,” he said at the event in Taipei.
Ma stressed the government’s determination to boost the economy and called on the public to work together and face the difficult situation with patience and diligence.
He also cited examples of Taiwanese figures, including NBA star Jeremy Lin (林書豪), the late Cardinal Paul Shan (單國璽) and Chen Shu-chu (陳樹菊), a vegetable vendor who was listed as Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2010 because of her philanthropic work, and said their hard work and devotion have raised Taiwan’s international reputation.
Reverend Chang Mao-sung (張茂松) also expressed optimism about the nation’s future in a speech at the event.
He blamed local political talk shows for spreading negative comments about Taiwan, and urged the Ma administration to “pull out the weeds” during what he called famine years and plant seeds of love and hope on the island.
“We need political talk shows to tell us about the hopes and future of Taiwan … The nation has experienced years of famine, but this is the time to cultivate and plant seeds. I have a dream that President Ma will help college graduates increase their starting salary to NT$40,000 [US$1375] before his term ends,” he said.
Ma thanked church groups for their compassion and contribution to society, but did not respond to the call for raising starting salaries, which currently start at about NT$22,000.
Several pastors then led the audience to pray for Ma and political leaders, asking that the president be blessed with ability, courage and wisdom as political parties work together to improve people’s livelihoods.
The event, co-organized by the Bread of Life Christian Church in Taipei and other churches, was co-initiated by Reverend Kao Chun-ming (高俊明) in 2001 after he attended a similar prayer breakfast event in South Korea.