Sun, Oct 27, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ma’s good-luck message is ‘rather ironic’: farmer

By Chiu Ming-yu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An eco-globe signed by former president Lee Teng-hui, left, sits next to an eco-globe signed by President Ma Ying-jeou four years ago in this photo taken on Friday.

Photo: Chiang Chih-hsiung, Taipei Times

What was supposed to be a well-wishing note by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) signed on an eco-globe has been labeled by some as rather ironic considering his recent low public support ratings.

During a visit to Yilan County’s recreational farm by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) on Friday, attending media noticed that one of the farm’s specialty products, the eco-globe, had been signed by Ma in January 2009, with the words zi qiu duo fu (自求多福), which means “take care of yourself, good luck.”

According to the farm’s owner, Hsu Chih-hsiung (徐志雄), the eco-globe was invented and developed by his farm.

Hsu said the globe’s best feature is that it provides a self-sustaining environment in which shrimp or other aquatic life forms can survive.

“I’m sure the president [Ma] meant well in what he wrote [to echo the characteristics of the eco-globe],” Hsu said.

However, he added that some of his staff had told him not to exhibit the eco-globe that bore the “odd phrasing” Ma had written for fear of inhibiting sales at the farm.

Hsu said he insisted on displaying it in the farm, adding that what tourists make of the words written on the globes is their business.

However, he added that the message written by Ma was “quite ironic” considering his low public support ratings, which recently hit a new low of 9.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Lee was also asked to sign and write blessing on an eco-globe during his visit to the farm on Friday.

The former president wrote guo tai min an (國泰民安), an expression often used to wish for the continued wellbeing of the nation and its people.

Hsu said it was an honor to have his products signed by both the current president and a former president, adding that he would place both on exhibition at his farm.

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