Thu, Sep 17, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Farmers’ group welcomes Tsai

VALUABLE:The candidate pledged that, if elected, she plans to make agriculture contribute to social stability, as well as attractive to work in to the younger generation

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, third right, hosts a party in Taipei yesterday celebrating the 29th anniversary of the establishment of the DPP.

Photo: CNA

The Taipei City Farmers’ Association, which is traditionally supportive of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), yesterday openly welcomed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), a move that might be seen as a sign that the organization is switching its support.

Walking into a conference room at the association’s headquarters, Tsai received a warm welcome from local DPP city councilors and association officials, who chanted slogans supporting Tsai in the election.

At a brief meeting on the needs of the agricultural sector, Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co chairman Chuang Lung-yen (莊龍彥), who campaigned for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), sat in the front row with Tsai.

Other attendees included association chief executive director Su Kuang-cheng (蘇光正), who presented Tsai with a gift of locally grown Pouchong tea (包種茶) and said she “will definitely win the election with a high number of votes.”

Pouchong tea, whose Mandarin name is pronounced in the same way as the term for “will definitely succeed,” is often given as a good-luck gift for exam takers or candidates.

At the meeting, Tsai promised to turn agriculture into a valuable sector again.

She said that, if elected, she would make agriculture an industry that would make contributions to social stability and ecological preservation and, more importantly, an industry that the younger generation would be willing to work in.

In a separate setting, asked if the association’s warm welcome was a dividend of her attempts to gain the support of traditionally pro-KMT groups, Tsai played down the reception, saying it was because people no longer care about party divisions.

When asked to comment on Buddhist master Hsing Yun’s (星雲) latest letter to the editor published in the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday, in which he said that he is and always will be a KMT member, Tsai said: “He is a monk, let us not bother him with secular business.”

Over the weekend, both Hsing Yun and Tsai attended the inauguration of an exhibition on Taiwanese democracy pioneer Yu Chen Yueh-ying (余陳月瑛). The Buddhist master at the time praised Tsai as “Taiwan’s goddess Matsu” and said she would definitely win next year’s presidential election.

The media have speculated that Hsing Yun might have switched his support from the KMT to the DPP, despite writing that he remains loyal to the KMT and would rather see the KMT’s candidate, Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), win. In his letter, he said that polls show that Tsai has been leading Hung by a large margin, and that he would praise anyone who makes a positive contribution to Taiwan as the goddess Matsu.

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