The Liu Dui Culture Research Association on Saturday unveiled the nation’s first domestically compiled lexicon of Hakka-language words in the Liu Dui dialect, an effort that took a decade of work and cost about NT$7 million (US$233,085 at the current exchange rate). The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon collected more than 20,000 phrases and words, and is estimated to be of great value in helping people learn the Liu Dui dialect and culture, the association said. It could also become a reference book for teachers, the association added. The lexicon collected phrases and common words used in daily speech, as well as local sayings, phrases and words describing the history of the area and the local life, it said. Association Director Tseng Tsai-chin (曾彩金), a retired teacher, served as the editor-in-chief of the project. Reached for comment yesterday, Tseng said he wanted to compile the lexicon because he thought that the Sisian (四縣) dialect, which is the main dialectal group to which the Liu Dui subgroup belongs, was underused at meetings or when presiding as a judge over events related to the Hakka language. The two most-used dialectal groups out of the five groups of the Hakka language used in Taiwan are the Sisian, which is more prevalent in southern Taiwan, and the Hailu (海陸), which is more prevalent in the north. The other three groups are the Dapu (大埔), Raoping (饒平) and Jhaoan (詔安). The 12 Hakka-speaking townships spread across Pingtung County and Kaohsiung all speak the Liu Dui subdialect, which can be further subdivided into three smaller groups — one used by those in Neipu (內埔), Wanluan (萬巒), Jhutian (竹田) and Linluo (麟洛) townships in Pingtung; the second used in Gaoshu (高樹), Changjhih (長治), Jiadong (佳冬) and Sinpi (新埤) townships; and the third used in the Mainong (美濃), Shanlin (杉林) and Liouguei (六龜) districts of Kaohsiung. This is evidence
EXPANSION: The transportation ministry is to subsidize Taipei and Kaohsiung’s purchase of 63 multipurpose taxis, as well as the payment of incentives for drivers
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is appropriating nearly NT$60 million (US$2 million) to subsidize plans by the Taipei City Government and the Kaohsiung City Government to expand their multipurpose taxi fleets, it said over the weekend. The ministry said that it has since 2013 subsidized the multipurpose taxi service nationwide, as it has become a way for disabled people to travel. The nation has 980 multipurpose taxis, including 301 in Taipei and 272 in Kaohsiung, ministry statistics showed. Last year, the service was accessed more than 200,000 times in Taipei and 460,000 times in Kaohsiung, which the ministry said shows that the service has helped facilitate the transportation of physically challenged people. The city governments of Taipei and Kaohsiung have asked for subsidies to expand their multipurpose taxi fleets due to rising demand for the service, the ministry said. After reviewing their plans, the ministry agreed to provide a subsidy of NT$19.46 million to Taipei and NT$39.50 million to Kaohsiung, it said. The subsidies would help the cities purchase a total of 63 vehicles for the service — 20 in Taipei and 43 in Kaohsiung — as well as cover the incentive bonuses for drivers and pay for part of the leasing fees for multiple-card readers, the ministry said. “We hope that the two city governments can quickly find qualified taxi service operators so that the new vehicles could be added to the fleets before December,” it said. Multipurpose taxis should be equipped with wheelchair lifts or detachable ramps, with each driver receiving up to NT$400,000 in subsidies to purchase the vehicles, the ministry said. Multipurpose taxi drivers who serve disabled passengers more than 50 times per month can apply for a bonus of NT$50 per trip, with the maximum bonus being capped at NT$5,000 per month, it said. To allow
The John Tung Foundation yesterday marked the WHO’s World No Tobacco Day by inviting people to spread its message against cigarettes online. The foundation’s tobacco control division shared statements on Facebook, including “I refuse to smoke, I am proud,” and “Protect what you love, all tobacco products get out,” and calling on users to repost the messages. It also asked for donations of receipts for the uniform invoice lottery. The theme of World No Tobacco Day this year is “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.” The rate of cigarette smoking among adolescents in Taiwan has increased for the first time in a decade, said Chen Miao-hsin (陳妙心), head of the Health Promotion Administration’s Tobacco Control Division, citing an agency study from last year on adolescent smoking behavior. Electronic cigarette usage among senior-high school and vocational high school students was 5.6 percent, a 60 percent increase from 2018, the study showed. Electronic cigarettes are a gateway to smoking cigarettes and using drugs, Chen said, adding that companies use “coolness” to attract adolescents or mislead them into thinking that electronic cigarettes are less harmful so that they continue using them, leading to addiction. Foundation chief executive officer Yao Ssu-yuan (姚思遠) said tobacco companies are using the same marketing techniques they have traditionally used to sell cigarettes to promote electronic cigarettes, heated tobacco products and other new forms of products. The companies use popular culture and social media to market various products, he said, adding they want to develop a “new generation” of people with addiction — echoing one of the WHO’s main taglines for this year’s World No Tobacco Day: “The secret’s out: If your product killed 8 million people each year, you’d also target a new generation.” Lin Ching-li (林清麗), head of the foundation’s tobacco control division, said traditional and new forms
A Taichung doctor on Wednesday warned parents with children who have asthma to avoid smoking around them after treating a boy who had an asthma attack after his father began smoking more at home. The father was forced to take unpaid leave amid the COVID-19 pandemic and was therefore spending more time at home than usual, Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital Department of Pediatrics doctor Yu Meng-kung (余孟恭) said. The boy had stopped taking asthma medication about one year ago, as his condition had improved, but he was rushed to the hospital after a flare-up, Yu said. Although the father had been smoking on the family’s balcony with the door closed, the smoke was entering the home through small openings in the door and windows, Yu said, adding that second-hand and third-hand smoke can trigger asthma. The chemicals from lit cigarettes permeate the smoker’s clothes and surfaces in the home, and can be breathed in by others even if they were not directly exposed to the smoke, he said. In people with asthma, inflammation of the respiratory tract can cause coughing, wheezing, chest pain and difficulty breathing, among other symptoms, Yu said. If the symptoms are ignored, they could lead to damage to the pulmonary alveolus, an increase in mucus in the bronchial tube and a thickening of the muscles surrounding the bronchial tube, all of which obstruct the respiratory tract, he added. Parents with children who have asthma are advised to seek treatment for their children as early as possible to avoid impeding the healthy development and functioning of the cardiopulmonary system, he said. Parents should also pay close attention to how temperature differences between day and night affect their children, and keep living spaces free of air pollutants and dust, he said. Smoking especially should be avoided around children, he said.
The One Bear Museum in Hsinchu County’s Guansi Township (關西), a teddy bear museum once touted by the county government as a “luminous pearl” along Provincial Highway No. 13, is facing possible closure. The museum’s building, which was provided by the county government, has a serious water leakage problem and lacks a parking lot for buses to bring in tour groups, Hsinchu County Councilor Lo Shih-shi (羅仕琦) said on Saturday. The county government should step in to rescue the museum, or the negative reviews about the museum on the Internet might affect visitors’ impression of the township and the county, he said. The building used to be an illegal construction that served as a recreational center for farmers, Lo said. The county government later legalized the building and the museum was opened about two years ago. It is said to be the largest teddy bear museum in Asia, he added. However, as the building is old, it has problems, including water leakage, frequent elevator malfunctions, falling tiles from the ceiling and exposed steel reinforcing bars in the walls, causing safety concerns among visitors, he said. Museum general manager Chou Hua-wen (周華文) said he was fond of the building’s large space and invested more than NT$40 million (US$1.33 million at the current exchange rate) to establish the museum. He had expected that it would attract about 15,000 to 18,000 visitors per month, but it only attracted 4,000 to 7,000 visitors per month, Chou said. The reasons for low visitor numbers include water leakage, facility malfunction and nearby parking lots always being occupied, he said. The management has been reluctant to promote the museum for fear that it might lead to more negative reviews, he said, adding that travel agencies were also concerned about receiving complaints if they promoted the museum to their clients. The county government last year started
‘NATIONAL SECURITY PROBLEM’: Two DPP legislators said the government needs to help public agencies replace Chinese equipment and pass legislation banning their use
More than 200 government entities are together using 1,108 telecommunications devices from Chinese brands, posing a cybersecurity risk, a government report showed. At the suggestion of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee last year, the Executive Yuan investigated 7,704 public institutions to see whether they were using or had procured telecoms equipment manufactured by Chinese companies. They found that as of April 13, of the 3,837 public institutions that responded to their requests, 228 said they had been using equipment made by Chinese brands, including mobile phones, video cameras, drones and other Internet-related devices. The report highlighted products from seven brands considered to pose a cybersecurity threat: Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology’s video cameras; Huawei Technologies’ smartphones, tablets and wireless routers; Da-Jiang Innovations Technology’s drones; TP-Link Technologies’ wireless routers and network switches; Oppo Mobile Telecommunications’ smartphones and mobile phones; Xiaomi’s smartphones, tablets and virtual reality equipment; and Dahua Technology’s video cameras. Five ministries or agencies on the national level and 36 on the local level, as well as four schools, said that their staff used Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo smartphones, it said. Video cameras were mostly used for security purposes, with seven central and 20 local agencies, as well as 29 schools, saying that they used Hikvision or Dahua’s surveillance cameras and webcams, it said. Respondents said that they used as many as 366 sets of video recording equipment produced by Hikvision, making it the most widely used Chinese brand among public institutions, the report said. Most respondents said that they used drones for location scouting, while networking devices were mostly used for Internet access at small offices, it said. A majority of respondents said that they opted to use Chinese brands for budget reasons, as the products were usually cheaper, but could still meet basic requirements, it said. Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) yesterday said that the Executive
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age groups. Su’s approval rating slid 7.9 percentage points to 65 percent, and 25 percent said they were dissatisfied with his performance. Similarly, his approval rate fell the most among respondents aged 20 to 29, dropping 22 percentage points, the poll showed. NPP Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said that the decline was normal as the Tsai administration had been in its “honeymoon” phase after she was re-elected in January. The administration needs to be careful that its approval does not fall too quickly, Hsu said, adding that the decline might be connected with how the administration mishandled the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons. “It appears that people were critical of the chaos when the Tsai administration implemented the policy of distributing financial relief funds to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak,” National Taiwan Normal University political science professor Fan Shih-ping (范世平) said. The administration’s ratings reached their peak when it succeeded in containing the spread of COVID-19, but it began to slide after its stimulus package, Fan said. The “honeymoon” is over, Fan added. The decline in approval among younger respondents was worrisome, and might be indicative of how they would vote in the recall election of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Saturday, Fan
Former National Immigration Agency (NIA) director-general Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) yesterday announced that he is to leave the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to join the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) as secretary-general. In a statement on Facebook, Hsieh said he has accepted an invitation from TPP Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to serve in the position. Taiwan’s democratic politics have entered a “state of complete imbalance” because of the Democratic Progressive Party’s dominance, he wrote. He said that he could “no longer stay out” of the matter, citing alleged injustices such as the suppression of different voices, the manipulation of international developments for party interests and the use of the law to serve a specific position. In the statement, Hsieh, who represented the KMT in the 2014 and 2018 Keelung mayoral elections, thanked the KMT for nurturing him. He said that he had hesitated to join the TPP, “but for the normal development of Taiwan’s democracy, I have no choice. I must stand up.” Even though he would no longer be a member of the KMT, Hsieh said that he would “always be the KMT’s good friend.” In a statement following Hsieh’s announcement, the KMT said it regrets Hsieh’s decision. The party gave Hsieh many opportunities to perform, it said. It is to follow the relevant procedures and address the matter at a meeting of the party’s disciplinary committee this month, it added. KMT Keelung City Councilor Sung Wei-li (宋瑋莉), who had competed against Hsieh for the KMT’s nomination for the 2018 Keelung mayoral election, said it now looks like conceding the nomination to Hsieh had been a mistake. Sung, who had polled higher at the time, said she had dropped out of the primary to prevent a dispute within the party from affecting the KMT. Tsai Chih-ying (蔡智潁), head of the KMT’s Keelung chapter, said that although he regrets Hsieh’s departure
Peggy Chen (陳佩琪), wife of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), yesterday said that the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) claim that Taiwan had warned the WHO about possible human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was “far-fetched.” The US on April 9 said that the WHO had put politics first and ignored Taiwan’s early warning in December last year, which the WHO denied the following day. The WHO said that it received an e-mail from Taiwanese authorities on Dec. 31 last year, but that “there was no mention in the message of human-to-human transmission.” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, on April 11 made public the e-mail that the Centers for Disease Control had sent to the WHO International Health Regulations Focal Point. The message said that “at least seven atypical pneumonia cases were reported in Wuhan, China” and that “cases have been isolated for treatment.” The minister said that any public health or medical professional would understand the circumstances that would require patients to be isolated. Peggy Chen, a pediatrician at Taipei Municipal Hospital, said that the e-mail read to her as Taiwan asking the WHO for more information about the disease. “Taiwan did not have confirmed cases at that time, so claiming that it was an e-mail warning the WHO is a little far-fetched,” she wrote. “Instead of making the unreasonable argument that we had the foresight to warn the WHO with this e-mail, why not promote Taiwan’s past successful infectious disease prevention experience to win everybody’s heart,” she added. Chen Shih-chung yesterday in Tainan said that he respects different opinions. “The e-mail has been made public, and while some people understand it, some do not, and I cannot force everyone to understand it,” he said.
The Taipei City Government yesterday promised to improve its Taipei Card 3.0 application process after a city councilor said that it required applicants to provide irrelevant personal information. Taipei City Councilor Miao Po-ya (苗博雅) said that to activate the card — which can function as an EasyCard, Senior EasyCard, student card and library card, as well as provide discounts for restaurants, arts and entertainment in the city — people must provide personal information such as their passport number, occupation, education level, their spouse’s name, personal income, credit rating and health information. The city government said the system would help it digitalize and reduce the number of cards people need to carry. Applicants must also sign a consent form giving the government permission to use their information, she said. “How is education level or personal income relevant if a person only wants to borrow books from the library?” she said. Taipei Department of Information Technology Director Lu Hsin-ke (呂新科) said that although the government asks applicants to provide the information, it would only use the data that are relevant. Miao said that the data collection reveals that the government lacks an understanding of the rule of law, as the consent form functions as a legal contract that permits the government to use the provided personal information. The government cannot demand that applicants sign the consent form, but later claim that it would use only the “necessary parts,” she added. The department said it would devise improvement measures as soon as possible.
A German researcher, who has extensively studied the 228 Incident, on Friday donated 69 German texts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the National Central Library. Researcher Gunter Whittome and his wife, Fu Jen Catholic University professor Chang Sheng-ching (張省卿) presented the collection at a ceremony. It included original publications of works by German writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, poets Gottfried Keller and Christian Johann Heinrich Heine, and philosopher Moritz Schlick, among others. The largest single sets of books in the collection were a set of 17 works by poet Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, and a set of 10 works by Keller. Whittome’s father served in the British Army during World War II and bought the books while stationed in West Berlin after the war, the library said. His father was a languages professor and was proficient in German and French. The National Central Library houses about 5,000 foreign-language books that are 100 or more years old, library Director-General Tseng Shu-hsien (曾淑賢) said. The library’s collection is valuable to Taiwan, Tseng said, adding that part of it was from the private library of Republic of China citizen and educator Li Shizeng (李石曾), who acquired them while living in Geneva in the 1930s. Tseng’s collection was moved to Uruguay in the 1950s, and then to Taiwan in the 1990s, the library said. In 2018, collector Cheng Ting-tang (澄定堂) donated a private collection of first-edition European books to the library, it said. Tseng thanked Whittome and Chang on behalf of the library and said that the books would be digitized, preserved and well cared for, as well as made available to the public in digital form. Whittome is an experienced Chinese translator and interpreter, and has interpreted for the Hanover District Court in Germany, the library said. He has worked in East Asian studies at the
A Taiwanese technical mission to the Pacific island nation of Nauru is helping a penal facility improve food self-reliance and is teaching inmates skills they can use after their release, the team said yesterday. “The project, with the goal of minimizing waste, officially started in January, with a poultry and pig farm to be completed in August,” mission head Daniel Lee (李宜龍) said. This month, the team is to start building capacity for planting crops, raising livestock, making fertilizer and teaching cooking, Lee said, adding that they would transfer the farm to the Nauruan government at the end of this year or early next year. Nauru is one of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies. The pilot penal farm in the nation’s “Topside” area was initiated by Nauruan President Lionel Aingimea with the International Cooperation and Development Fund, which organized the mission, a statement from the fund said. Aingimea last year requested assistance to start the project through Taiwan Ambassador Dean Wang (王海龍), with the prison seeking to achieve 80 percent food self-sufficiency, as all of its food is imported, the fund said. Mission horticultural specialist Jo Chan (詹若謙) said that contrary to public perception, it is not dangerous working with inmates because participants are selected based on their good behavior. “In addition, guards are always on site to monitor the situation,” he added. Chan said that there were some initial concerns, “but after interacting [with the inmates], we found them to be very friendly and cordial. Perhaps it was because they knew we were there to help them.” Chan said that he had asked the inmates what crop they would like to learn to grow, and one said mango trees. “‘It takes three to four years for a mango tree to bear fruit. Do you want to stay in prison that long?’ I said in jest, as the inmate shook his
‘FAMILY FACTORS’: A foundation’s survey found that most respondents who left home in their adolescence cited problems at home as their reason for leaving
The Child Welfare League Foundation said that teenagers made up about 92 percent of the missing minors cases it has dealt with over the past 10 years, with most of them having left home due to a conflict with their parents. The foundation said in a news release that it has since 2010 handled 613 cases of missing children, of which 565 were aged 12 to 18. Last year 5,677 teenagers were reported missing, of which 3,961, or about 70 percent, ran away from home, the foundation said, citing National Police Agency data. The percentage of teenagers among cases of missing minors has grown significantly over the years, foundation member Hsu Ching-ling (許慶齡) said earlier this week. The foundation said that a survey it conducted earlier this year of people who left home in their adolescence found that 84 percent of respondents cited “family factors” as their reason for leaving. Phrases such as “do not bother coming back if you have the guts to walk out the door” and “how unaccomplished you are” were among the remarks that made respondents want to run away the most, it said. About 30 percent of respondents said that they would not have run away had they and their family had better communication, 26 percent said that they wished their family had paid more attention to them and nearly 15 percent said that they wanted their family to respect their opinions more and not interfere too much in their lives. Parents sometimes find teenagers hard to understand, but they should never use abusive language, say mean things or resort to physical violence when talking to their children, the foundation said. Parents should not succumb to rage, as teenagers face unpredictable dangers or exploitation after they leave home, it said, citing the importance of communication.
‘FAKE INTERNSHIPS’: A teachers’ union said that Swazi students had been forced to work in factories that reportedly paid their wages as ‘donations’ to their school
The Ministry of Education (MOE) on Thursday said that it would investigate allegations by a teachers’ union that students from Eswatini, the nation’s only diplomatic ally in Africa, had been forced into exploitative “internships” after enrolling in a work-study program at Mingdao University in Changhua County. The ministry said that in 2018, the university had recruited about 40 students for a four-year work-study scholarship program, promising them the opportunity to develop off-campus work skills and experience while completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In a recruitment brochure, the university offered applicants a range of financial inducements, while touting the program as “ultra-affordable.” In November 2018, Swazi media reported that the students were being forced to work 40 hours per week peeling chicken skins in a refrigerated factory in exchange for their lessons and accommodation. Following the incident, the ministry ordered the university to cancel the students’ employment contracts and assist them in returning to a full class schedule. It also reduced the university’s international student recruitment quota for the 2019-2020 academic year, the ministry said. The students remained enrolled and were given tuition discounts, grants for living expenses and assistance in finding legitimate internship opportunities, it said. However, earlier this year, the students reported that Mingdao University had reduced their financial benefits and imposed new minimum work requirements for their internships or other “service learning” activities, the ministry said. University president Kuo Chu-hsun (郭秋勳) held a news conference on Thursday last week with five of the students, who said that the work conditions did not amount to labor abuse. However, in a letter to the ministry on Tuesday, the Union of Private School Educators said that the university took the international students’ wages in the form of monthly “donations” from the factories where they worked, and used only a portion of that money to offset their tuition
Investors on Friday said that they are looking to raise NT$5 billion (US$166.5 million) to start an airline in Kinmen County by October. Former Kinmen County councilor Chen Tsang-chiang (陳滄江) and businessman Tsai Chuan-cheng (蔡傳成) confirmed the plan while making a donation to a local vocational high-school baseball team. Chen and Tsai, conveners of the preparatory committee to form Kinmen Airlines, said that if everything goes well, they would hold an establishment ceremony in October. As Kinmen is less than 10km from China, far closer than it is to Taiwan, Tsai said that establishing an airline there would enable local residents to “fly across the Taiwan Strait and explore the whole world.” “Given that a large number of families from Kinmen live in Southeast Asian countries, it is critical that the county has its own airline to serve its people through a more comprehensive air travel network,” he said. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic hitting global air travel markets hard, he said that the committee has proceeded with the plan and expects to unveil the airline’s logo next month and start a five-phase development project in October. Kinmen Airlines would help connect the county to the rest of the world and create work opportunities for residents who might otherwise have to move out of the region for employment, Tsai said. The investors did not announce what aircraft they anticipate using, but in March said they would probably start with the same ATR aircraft used on routes between Taiwan proper and Kinmen. Only Taipei-based Uni Air (立榮航空) and Mandarin Airlines (華信航空) operate regular flights between Kinmen and Taiwan proper, making it difficult to travel between the two sides, especially during peak holiday seasons, they said. To fly overseas, Kinmen residents must first transfer in Taipei or another city in Taiwan, they added.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity of food, 41 concerned the service of delivery workers, 11 were about the ingredients of orders, eight were over prices and 28 concerned other issues, the committee said. Of the Uber Eats disputes, 38 were linked to its Eats Pass promotional program — a NT$120 monthly subscription that allows orders of at least NT$199 without a delivery fee — with people complaining that the subscription renewed the next month without confirmation, it said. Another 14 were due to order cancelations, nine were related to the quality or quantity of food, eight concerned the service of delivery workers and 11 were related to other issues, it said. The frequency of Foodpanda’s absences from mediation sessions held by local governments was higher, which the firm attributed to strikes by delivery workers during the Lunar New Year holiday and a rising number of orders in the period, it said. The committee urged the companies to participate in mediation to show that they care about consumers’ rights, as well as to comply with regulations. Before placing an order, consumers can consult lists local governments publish online of corporations that have failed to attend mediation sessions without proper reasons, it said. When a dispute arises, people can call the national consumer
A 35-year-old man has undergone a 3D endoscopic mastectomy, after having injected himself with more than 3 liters of soybean oil over eight years. The man, whose name was not revealed, had complained that his breasts were becoming loose and losing their shape, said Chunghwa Christian Hospital Endoscopic Mastectomy Center director Lai Hung-wen (賴鴻文), who performed the surgery last year. At age 27, the man began searching for inexpensive breast augmentation methods, before learning about soybean oil injection from a cosmetic surgery Web site, Lai said. Over the past eight years, the man injected himself at home 10 times, starting with about 50ml of oil, but he increased the dosage as he became “addicted” to the immediate visual results, Lai said. Although most people use saline implants, silicone gel or transplanted fat from their own body for breast augmentation, it was the first time in Lai’s 14-year career of treating about 2,000 men with swollen breast tissue that he had encountered someone who had injected themselves with oil, he said. The man told doctors that his desire for bigger breasts stemmed from his experiences with bullying in junior-high school, which made him feel insecure about being a man and believe that becoming a woman would allow him to be more “protected,” Lai said. Lai said that he removed about 680g of excess tissue from the man’s left breast, and 720g from the right, the combined weight of which was equivalent to D or E-cup breasts. Post-surgery recovery was ideal, he added. Chunghwa Christian Hospital psychiatrist Chang Ting-kang (張庭綱) said that some people who have been bullied could develop self-doubt and self-criticism, which could lead to distorted perceptions of themselves. The man could have been enlarging his breasts as a means of sexual gratification or stimulus, as it could meet needs resulting from his perceived gender identity, Chang said. Chang quoted
PLETHORA OF ISSUES: Parties want to discuss the Act Governing Relations With Hong Kong and Macau, and review a bill to initiate a lay judge system, among other matters
With the previous legislative session having drawn to a close on Friday, legislative caucuses are eyeing a provisional legislative session to review urgent bills and President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for independent agencies. A provisional legislative session should be held late next month before or after the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus secretary-general Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) said yesterday. The DPP caucus hopes to review an irrigation association bill, a bill to introduce a lay judge system for reviewing criminal offenses and the budget for the second stage of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, in addition to approving the president’s National Communications Commission and Examination Yuan member nominations, Chung said. If lawmakers decide to hold an extraordinary session, the DPP caucus would respect the opinions of opposition caucuses regarding what items to deal with, he added. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus neither favors nor opposes an extraordinary session, but believes that some bills could wait until the next regular session, KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said, adding that, as a minority, the KMT caucus can only passively respond to the DPP’s proposals. If an extraordinary session is called, the KMT caucus believes that lawmakers should review its proposal to amend the Special Act on COVID-19 Prevention, Relief and Recovery (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例) so that the government could legally give people a NT$6,000 cash handout as the pandemic eases domestically, he said. The KMT caucus would like to ask Tsai to report to the Legislative Yuan on cross-strait relations and proposed constitutional amendments, and discuss how the Act Governing Relations With Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) could be amended to help Hong Kongers seeking asylum, as Beijing seeks to ram through a national security bill for the territory, he said. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) caucus whip Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) said that it would be appropriate
An amendment to the Act Governing Relations With Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) proposed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) aims to protect “good” Hong Kongers, not those engaged in violence or terrorism, KMT Mainland Affairs Department director Tso Chen-dong (左正東) said yesterday. As freedom of speech is already enshrined in the Constitution, the proposed amendment would only provide general guidelines when vetting Hong Kongers seeking asylum, Tso said, adding that it would sift out Hong Kongers who have a history of violence or have engaged in terrorism. Political leaning should not be a criterion when checking the backgrounds of Hong Kongers seeking asylum in the Republic of China (ROC), as that is part of their freedom of speech and is different from violent behavior or participation in terrorist activities, he said. However, Kong Kong independence is a nonissue, as the Constitution states that Hong Kong is a part of the ROC, Tso said, adding that even Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) has claimed that he is not a proponent of the idea. The Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and Hong Kong residents’ freedom of speech should be protected through asylum, hence the proposal, Tso said. Asked whether granting pro-Hong Kong independence advocates asylum would negatively affect cross-strait relations, one KMT member speaking on condition of anonymity said that it could be doing Beijing a favor by solving its problem. “Beijing would be pleased,” the member said, adding that the proposed amendment should not include any discriminatory clauses that would deny asylum to Hong Kongers with certain political leanings.
The Department of Cyber Security is probing an alleged leak of Taiwan’s household registration information and would update the public when more information becomes available, Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) said yesterday. Ting’s remarks came after US-based cybersecurity firm Cyble on Friday said that it had discovered a leaked database — purportedly belonging to the government — containing the household registration information of more than 20 million Taiwanese. The information contained in the 3.5 gigabyte database, titled “Taiwan whole country home registry DB,” allegedly includes people’s full names, addresses, national identification number, gender, date of birth and other information, it said. The firm said that the database was discovered by one of its researchers on the dark Web a few weeks ago and was dropped by a well-known person who goes by the handle “Toogod.” The leak occurred last year and originated from the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Household Registration, Cyble said, citing Toogod. It is unusual for an entire nation’s government data to be leaked, the company said, adding that it was investigating the matter. Some of the entries in the database have been identified as information that date back “a long time,” Ting said yesterday. The department and police are working to determine the authenticity of the data, he said. A preliminary investigation has ruled out that the data are people’s household registration information and that they were leaked by a government agency, he added. There are two versions of the database, one consisting of an aggregate of the entries and the other in which entries are categorized by administrative regions in the nation, Ting said, adding that the database is more likely a combination of information from several sources.