As she spoke about the possibility of her family home being torn down on Friday, Peng Hsiu-chun (彭秀春), a resident of Dapu (大埔) in Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township (竹南), burst into tears as she called on the public to help her save her home from being demolished to make way for an industrial park.
“I love my home, it may only be 6 ping [19.8m2], but my husband and I worked hard and saved every penny we earned to buy it,” Peng said during an exclusive interview with the Taipei Times. “We bought the house with our hard-earned cash and I put a lot of energy into making it a home. My three children were born and raised here — these memories aren’t something that money can buy.”
Peng said she and her husband, Chang Sen-wen (張森文), have lived in Dapu since getting married in 1980.
“At first, we rented, but after landlords made us move several times, I decided we had to buy a house because only then could our family lead a stable life, without constantly moving around,” she said.
The house was originally 11 ping, but about half of it was torn down to make way for a road that was being widened.
“We had to stay in the house while the demolition took place. Many of our neighbors asked us why we were still living in the house as half of it was being torn down, but we had no other place to stay,” Peng said. “After the demolition, it maybe didn’t look like a house anymore, but it is still our home.”
“We’ve been protesting for the past three years to save what’s left of our home, it’s mentally and physically exhausting. I feel justified in saying said that I’ve been mentally tortured and bullied by the government for those three years,” she said. “We need all the help we can get to save our home and even though we may not stop the demolition, I would like the world to know how brutal this government is and how ruthlessly it treats its people.”
Despite Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) promising in 2010 when he was premier that the 24 families in Dapu would keep their homes, the Ministry of the Interior later decided to demolish them.
The Miaoli County Government has set Friday as the deadline for the residents to demolish their homes.