The Taipei City Government will spend about NT$1 million (US$30,000) to change the name of the MRT Muzha-Neihu Line after an insulting twist on its name became popular.
The problem-ridden MRT line is jokingly called by the last two syllables in “Muzha” and “Neihu” because when put together, they sound like zhahu (詐胡), a term in the game of mahjong that describes an act of cheating.
In hopes of improving the line’s fortunes, the name will be changed to the “Wenshan-Neihu Line.”
Several Taipei City councilors in Neihu (內湖) and Nangang (南港) districts have blamed the line’s repeated malfunctions and breakdowns on its “unlucky nickname.”
They suggested the name be changed to the Wenshan-Neihu Line, or Wen-Hu Line (文湖線), as it connects Wenshan (文山) and Neihu districts.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said the change would soon be formalized, but rebutted reports that it would cost more than NT$100 million for new signs, maps and other changes.
“The Muzha-Neihu Line will become the Wenshan-Neihu Line, but it is a groundless rumor that this project will cost that much money,” Hau said.
Chao Hsiung-fei (趙雄飛), a spokesman for the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp, said the project would cost about NT$1 million, including the cost of changing signs, maps and recorded MRT announcements.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) said the line’s name should have been changed sooner.
“How can it run smoothly when everyone keeps calling it the ‘zhahu’ line?” she said, adding that Wenshan-Neihu Line was also a better name because Muzha is not an official city district.
The Muzha area is part of Wenshan district.
Some residents criticized the change, saying the city should spend the money on improving the system instead.
“Will changing the name improve the line’s luck? I think the city government shouldn’t waste money,” said Lin Hsiang-mei (林相美), a frequent MRT passenger.
Taipei resident Claire Chiu also dismissed the idea.
“Maybe Hau Lung-bin should change his own name if he wants better luck,” she said.
INCREASED RISK: The Omicron BA.2.75 subvariant has higher immune evasive capacity, but the CECC is more concerned about newer subvariants such as XBB and BQ.1 With the peak season for infectious respiratory diseases coming to an end, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that details of the next phase of lifting COVID-19 masking rules — removing the mask requirement in most indoor settings — are to be announced this week. Discussions on lifting other COVID-19 restrictions are also being held, including further easing border control measures, home isolation requirements and revising the definition for reporting cases, while also downgrading COVID-19 to a lower category of notifiable communicable disease, said Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC. As the daily
GUT FEELING: In the leaked memo, US Air Force General Mike Minihan urged mobile command personnel to go to a firing range, shoot at a target and ‘aim for the head’ A four-star US Air Force general has warned of a conflict with China as early as 2025 — most likely over Taiwan — and urged his commanders to push their units to achieve maximum operational battle readiness this year. In an internal memorandum that first emerged on social media on Friday, and was later confirmed as genuine by the Pentagon, Air Mobility Command Commander General Mike Minihan said that the main goal should be to deter “and, if required, defeat” China. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan said. Minihan said that Taiwan’s presidential election
PEACE AND STABILITY: The two nations called for the peaceful resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait issues through dialogue without the threat or use of force or coercion The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked France and Australia for voicing their support for Taiwan, saying that peace across the Taiwan Strait is crucial to the stability and prosperity of international society. France and Australia on Monday pledged to deepen ties with Taiwan and reiterated their support for its participation in international organizations at this year’s Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations in Paris. The meeting between French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, French Minister of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong (黃英賢) and Australian Minister for Defence Richard Marles was the second
DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM: Czech president-elect Petr Pavel said his nation stands firmly on the side of democracy and would boost cooperation with Taipei in all aspects Czech president-elect Petr Pavel spoke by telephone with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday, a highly unusual move given the lack of formal ties and a diplomatic coup for Taipei. Tsai spoke with Pavel for 15 minutes in a harmonious atmosphere, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said, adding that Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) was also present during the conversation. Lin quoted Pavel as telling Tsai that Taiwan is a trustworthy partner, adding that the Czech Republic stands firmly on the side of democracy and supports Taiwan in maintaining a lively democratic system free from authoritarian coercion. The Czech Republic would