Sun, Apr 03, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Learn more about nation’s history: Tsai

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday urged the public to discover more about the nation’s history and learn from people like late Taiwanese democracy pioneer Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水), after attending a concert to commemorate the 85th anniversary of Chiang’s death on Friday.

“When speaking of Chiang, people always recall his famous quote: ‘Our compatriots should stay in solidarity, for that solidarity is powerful,’ but, there is much more to learn from Chiang’s short but colorful life,” Tsai said in a Facebook post.

Tsai said she had a lot of thoughts after being invited to attend the concert.

She said that in addition to learning about his famous quote, Taiwanese should try to discover more about Chiang, who firmly held on to his ideals throughout his life, had progressive ideas and was a successful organizer.

“We should learn about him and get to know more about the times that he lived in, which was not that long ago, but is unfamiliar to many of us,” Tsai said. “We should overcome the ‘malnutrition of knowledge,’ as Chiang once said of Taiwanese.”

Born in what is now Yilan County in 1890, Chiang was a doctor by profession, but is better known for being a social activist during the Japanese colonial period.

Chiang founded the Taiwanese Cultural Association that acted as a human rights group, took part in a petition campaign demanding that a democratically elected representative council be created in Taiwan and was a cofounder of the Taiwan People’s Party, which was the nation’s first political party.

On the form of a medical examination report, Chiang wrote a short essay titled Clinical Examinations (臨床講義), which said the patient — Taiwan — suffered from severe “knowledge malnutrition.”

Chiang, who was arrested and imprisoned by the Japanese colonial government a dozen times, was admired by many people and when he passed away in 1931 at the age of 40, more than 5,000 people attended his funeral.

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