Wed, Jun 28, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Singer goes on hunger strike over infrastructure plan

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Singer Shen Huai-yi performs a satirical song about President Tsai Ing-wen outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday as he launched a hunger strike against the proposed Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program.

Photo: CNA

Singer Shen Huai-yi (沈懷一) yesterday began a hunger strike outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei to protest the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program by performing a satirical song about President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

The song described Tsai as an “unworthy wife” who squanders public funds and “buries future generations in debt.”

Shen, who was a student activist, launched his campaign against the eight-year NT$882.49 billion (US$29.09 billion) proposal as the legislature was set to review a bill for the program.

The NT$882.49 billion is “dirty budgeting” and “pork-barreling” to distribute political favors, Shen said, adding that his hunger strike is to protest this abuse of power.

“Tsai is very stubborn. She will definitely get the bill passed,” Shen said.

He said he has no idea how long his hunger strike would last and that he would move around the Legislative Yuan compound like a “nomad” if the police tried to force him to leave.

Chen Chih-hsiao (陳致曉), director of a self-help association of residents affected by plans to appropriate land to move a Tainan railway line, said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would be going against public opinion if it decided to bulldoze the bill through with its legislative majority.

“Ordinary people have few means to challenge a brutal government, so Shen decided to stage a hunger strike against the government,” Chen said.

Shih Hsin University sociology professor Huang Te-pei (黃德北) said a major element of the infrastructure program is railway projects, and those projects could be used to boost the DPP’s influence and win it votes.

Railway projects were often used by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as a way of distributing political favors and the infrastructure plan could be designed to do the same thing, Huang said.

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