The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) “three little pigs” fundraising campaign raised more than NT$200 million (US$6.6 million) in political donations from 143,000 piggy banks returned, the party said yesterday.
The DPP announced the completion of the money-counting during a press conference at DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national campaign headquarters in Banciao District (板橋), New Taipei City (新北市).
The party said that a total of NT$201.2 million was raised from the piggy bank donations.
“Each and every penny of the donations symbolizes people’s disappointment in the incumbent government and their desire for a fair and just society,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.
The party launched the campaign on Oct. 25 in the wake of a warning from the Control Yuan, that the DPP’s acceptance of three piggy banks from a set of young triplets could constitute a violation of the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法).
The DPP distributed more than 200,000 piggy banks as the campaign grew in popularity. The 143,000 piggy banks returned by supporters to campaign headquarters in cities and counties across the nation were brought to Banciao on Dec. 18 last year, their designated “homecoming day.”
Counting the money was a difficult task. It required 150 volunteers to work on 12 hole-punching machines, 52 coin sorting machines and six coin counters 12 hours a day — a total of more than 3,000 man-hours — for 20 consecutive days, Lin said.
The campaign was the DPP and the public’s answer to the “asymmetrical elections” in which the party is competing against the -“ultra-rich” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections, another campaign spokesperson, Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君), said.
The DPP was also deeply touched by the many notes written by donors to express their feelings for the party and Tsai that they found in the piggy banks, Cheng said.
“I am sorry. This is the best I can do, because I need to save some money to feed my family,” Cheng read a message from a donor of a poor family.
A supporter from Lujhou District (蘆洲), New Taipei City, was asked by a 90-year-old friend surnamed Lin from Sanchong (三重), who did not know where to return the piggy bank, to hand in his donation.
“Chairperson Tsai would not feel tired if she knew how difficult it was for Mr Lin to ride on a tricycle from Sanchong to Lujhou to deliver this piggy bank,” the supporter wrote.
“The DPP is grateful to all donors, volunteers, staff members and truck drivers who had made a contribution to the most successful micro-fundraising campaign in Taiwan to date,” Cheng said.
COMMUNICATION: A US representative said that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan, which could put US military personnel at risk in the Western Pacific in a conflict Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) might have contravened its Pentagon contract by not providing access to its satellite communication network Starshield in and around Taiwan, a letter from a US House of Representatives committee to the company said. In September last year, the US Department of Defense awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield access, worth US$100 million. A few months before that, the Pentagon also commissioned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network to be used by Ukrainian forces amid Russia’s invasion. Starshield is a derivative of Starlink intended for military use. SpaceX has long worked closely with the US military and intelligence agencies, which
TWO REPORTS: The body called on EU states to support the meaningful participation of Taiwan in international organizations, as well as closer cooperation with the nation The European Parliament has backed deepening ties with Taiwan and voiced concern about heightened tension across the Taiwan Strait in reports on two major security policies, which include a passage denying that Taiwan is subordinate to China. The parliament adopted the annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy in a vote of 338 in favor, 86 against and 122 abstentions during a plenary session from Monday to yesterday. It also passed the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defense Policy in a vote of 350 in favor, 91 against and 96 abstentions. “Neither Taiwan
WAR GAMES: While US and Japanese militaries practice coordinating troops to stage landings, Taiwan is next month to test artillery and uncrewed aerial surveillance vehicles The US Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force have begun a military drill to simulate the retaking of outlying islands in Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture in a conflict scenario, the Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday. The drill, commonly known as “Iron Fist,” has been held in the US since 2006 before being moved to Japan for the first time this year, it said. The large-scale operations are conducted with a possible “Taiwan emergency” in mind, aiming to keep China in check, it said. Unlike last year’s exercises, which focused on on-site training, this year’s maneuvers include strategy formulation and command for each
NEVER FORGET: Feb. 28 is a day to demand justice and redress, and remember the long, hard road Taiwanese walked to democracy, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che said President-elect William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said he would work to safeguard the nation’s security and democracy to ensure freedom and economic prosperity, and that the tragic events of the 228 Incident “never happen in Taiwan again.” The Incident refers to the indiscriminate killing of a person in a crowd on Feb. 27, 1947, and the gunning down by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of protesters at a resulting demonstration the next day. It was followed by a brutal crackdown. Estimates of the number of eventual deaths vary from 10,000 to more than 30,000. The Incident was closely followed by the White