Businessman Wu Chen-jui (吳振瑞) was a victim of politically motivated persecution and wrongful imprisonment, according to a book released on Tuesday by the Pingtung County Government.
Wu, who died in 1993, was a Pingtung native and a former superintendent of the Kaohsiung Fruit Cooperative. He was known for ushering in a period of prosperity for southern fruit planters by exporting bananas to Japan.
In 1969, Wu was accused of corruption for allegedly distributing gold bowls and plates in the so-called “gold bowls” case, and in a second trial was convicted on illegal gold trading charges.
The book The Banana Man: Wu Chen-jui and the Golden Bowl Case (金蕉傳奇：香蕉大王吳振瑞與金碗案的故事), was published by the county thanks to an endowment from the Preparatory Office of the National Human Rights Museum. Written by oral historian Huang Hsu-chu (黃旭初), the book said that the gold bowls case was a miscarriage of justice motivated by political enmity.
“Wu Chen-jui made powerful enemies in the then-Provincial Fruit Export Cooperative by pushing the ‘50-50 plan’ and breaking its monopoly over export license quotas, and those powerful enemies took revenge on him by using trumped-up charges,” said Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩), who hosted the book’s launch.
Chiu said it was important for her to help clear Wu Chen-jui’s name, as he was made the superintendent of the fruit cooperative’s Kaohsiung branch on her grandfather Chiu Ching-te’s (邱慶德) recommendation. Chiu Ching-te was a Pingtung mayoral candidate at the time.
“There is no doubt that the ‘banana-peeling’ case was politically motivated,” Pingtung County Cultural Affairs Department Director-General Wu Jin-fa said (吳景發), referring to the media’s rhetoric at the time alleging that the prosecutors were “peeling” the banana trade to get rid of “verminous insects.”
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,