Peng Hsiu-chun (彭秀春), widow of Chang Sen-wen (張森文) who owned the Chang Pharmacy that was torn down in the Dapu Incident (大埔), yesterday expressed her determination to stay by her ruined home and fulfill her late husband’s wish of seeing their home rebuilt.
The Dapu Incident refers to the Miaoli County Government’s seizure of farmland in the county’s Jhunan Township (竹南) to expand the Hsinchu Science Park, when it blocked roads and sent excavators onto farms that were awaiting harvest and forcibly demolished four family houses in Dapu Borough (大埔) last year.
Yesterday was the first anniversary of Chang’s death. He was found dead in an irrigation channel near where his house used to stand, one month after the land was expropriated and torn down.
Photo: Cheng Hung-ta, Taipei Times
Although the evictions of the Changs and three other families were deemed unlawful by the court, the county government and the Ministry of the Interior has refused to return the land and rebuild the houses as the families requested.
“Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) had threatened us by saying: ‘There would be no road for even a scooter to pass through,’ and later forcibly demolished the building. They told us they were expropriating our land for the betterment of the people, but the rising buildings on the land expropriated for that exact reason stand witness to the great lie of the Miaoli County Government,” Peng said. “That the common people would be subjected to such despotic acts reveals problems with the nation. This is an example of the tyranny of government — an act that happened because we had no political background.”
Peng said she wanted to thank all the people who had stood by her family during the incident, adding that though she did not recognize many, they had given her the courage to carry on.
“We will stand by my husband’s wishes and see to it our home is rebuilt, right here on our own land,” she said.
Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) accused the government of doing nothing to compensate the Changs.
“Returning the land and rebuilding the houses” is not a mercy from the government, rather, it is a responsibility that the government should take up for its policy mistakes, Lin said, urging the government to respond to the families’ requests, compensate them, and rebuild their homes.
To stop further disputes due to land expropriation, the party would restart its campaign to amend the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例), Lin added.
Additional reporting by Chen Hui-ping
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of