Virus Outbreak: Grand Mosque confirms no Eid al-Fitr celebrationsBy Shen Pei-yao and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. Indonesian entertainer Fildan Rahayu sings at an Eid al-Fitr event in Daan Forest Park in Taipei on June 9 last year. Eid al-Fitr is usually celebrated for three days and the Taipei Grand Mosque has long been the go-to location for Muslims in Taiwan. It usually sees between 700 and 800 people praying during Eid al-Fitr, mosque director-general Wang Meng-lung (王夢龍) said.
Top Kaohsiung official faces probeKAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next monthBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterProsecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, second right, dances with staff members and residents at a care facility in Kaohsiung yesterday. Plans were made at the banquet for gang members and Han supporters to obstruct the recall vote by lining up at polling stations, where they would try to delay and disrupt the process, sources said. They urged Kaohsiung residents to not give in to intimidation, and to wear masks and hats while voting.
Momo says new unit to speed up deliveriesBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterTV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Packing boxes are pictured in front of a delivery van and scooters operated by TV and online retailer Momo.com in Taipei yesterday. Taipei-based consumers that shop on Momo’s e-commerce platform already enjoy this service, Momo president Lin Chi-feng (林啟峰) said earlier this year. To improve shipping efficiency, the company has combined data analysis with digital mapping systems that help track items and ensure deliveries, it said. Momo shares climbed 4.18 percent to close at NT$548 yesterday in Taipei trading, outpacing the TAIEX’s 0.92 percent rise.
Page has turned on ‘1992 consensus’: MACUNDERMINING RELATIONS: Both sides of the Strait must foster the stable environment needed for virus recovery, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong saidStaff writer, with CNA“A page in history has already been turned” on the issue of the so-called “1992 consensus” in cross-strait relations, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said yesterday at a legislative committee meeting, when commenting on China’s response to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inaugural address the previous day. In her first inaugural address, on May 20, 2016, Tsai said that she respected the historic fact that a cross-strait meeting in 1992 reached a shared understanding that sought common ground while retaining differences. Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong gestures as he speaks to lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. However, Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party government has undermined cross-strait relations by refusing to recognize the “1992 consensus,” Ma added. Commenting on Ma’s statement at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee, Chen said that “a page in history has already been turned,” so there is no longer any need to discuss the “1992 consensus” further.
The system, a “point-to-point” speed measurement, calculates average speed using the times at which a vehicle passes two recording devices and the distance between the devices. However, the Changhua County Police Department last month canceled 3,627 speeding tickets issued on a section of the Sibin Expressway (Highway No. Police issued 94,984 tickets from July 2018 to March using data from average speed control system, less than 3 percent of the tickets issued during that period, Lee said. The lack of certification standards has invalidated tickets issued through the system, Kao said. The National Policy Agency said that average speed control systems have reduced speeding cases in New Taipei City by 90 percent.
KMT criticizes Tsai’s speech for neglecting workersBy Sherry Hsiao and Wu Su-wei / Staff reportersThe Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday criticized the lack of labor policies in President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inaugural address on Wednesday, while an environmental group called for faster changes to the Mining Act (礦業法). Tsai has said that she has a soft spot for workers, but she did not mention labor issues in her speech, KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang (王育敏) said. Wang accused Tsai of failing to achieve the promises and policies that she presented to workers four years ago. Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Tsai Pi-ru (蔡壁如) said that it is concerning that Tsai’s speech ignored environmental sustainability, Aborigines and transitional justice — topics related to the proposed changes to the act.
Justice warriors or meddling busybodies? Photo: CNAUsually they are called “professional” informers (檢舉達人), but Su, who would often scream at the violators and make a scene, gained such infamy that she earned her special moniker. What’s wrong with that?” the operator of a Facebook group dedicated to reporting traffic violations tells the Taipei Times. After one professional informer was doxxed last year, he began receiving threatening phone calls. Both the police and politicians have been calling for a cap on the number of reported violations.
Presidential Inauguration: Ko congratulates, criticizes Tsai on her second termBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has done well in disease prevention, but has vacillated on its cross-strait policies, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. On the first day of Tsai’s second term as president, the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) extends its congratulations and hopes that the nation can continue improving, said Ko, who is chairman of the party. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, third right, chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), and party members hold hands at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Tsai has a duty to deal with these issues in her second term, he said. “Through the election, Taiwanese gave President Tsai another chance to lead, so the TPP hopes that she will not let the people down,” Ko said.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, center, speaks to reporters after attending yesterday’s presidential inauguration ceremony in Taipei. Chen said yesterday was the 38th consecutive day without a domestic case of COVID-19. The number of COVID-19 tests per confirmed case in Taiwan is 158.3, meaning that on average one case is detected per 158.3 tests, he said. In New Zealand, the number of COVID-19 tests per confirmed case is about 203, and about 153 tests were conducted to detect a case in Australia, Chen added. The United States also urges the WHO to systematically engage with Taiwan health experts on COVID-19 and beyond,” Chen read.
CTFA bullish as TFPL viewing figures increaseBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterGlobal interest in the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) amid global COVID-19 lockdowns that have left soccer fans bereft of live action is good news for the league and Taiwanese players, CTFA general secretary Fang Ching-jen says. Because of these effective policies and actions, it was possible for Taiwan’s top soccer leagues, both men’s and women’s, to start the season on time. We are delighted that the international community is taking more of an interest in Taiwan, and also in our soccer leagues,” Fang said. “This will have a positive effect, as Taiwanese players in the TFPL have a higher global exposure. We want to thank the fans in these nations for their support and continued interest in Taiwanese soccer,” he said.
Export orders rise on ICT, electronicsMILESTONES: In addition to unexpected growth, orders for ICT products surged to a record-high US$12.49 billion, as did combined orders from the US and EuropeBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterExport orders last month again defied expectations by increasing 2.3 percent year-on-year to US$38.53 billion amid robust demand for information and communications technology (ICT) products and electronics, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. The ministry in March had forecast a 6.37 to 10.34 percent annual decline in export orders for last month. Demand due to teleworking and distance learning last month continued to buoy orders for ICT products, while orders for electronics rose at a similar pace, increasing 16.2 percent to US$11.29 billion, the data showed. Export orders for traditional goods last month also plummeted, with orders for chemical products; rubber and plastic products; base metal products; and machinery equipment recording double-digit percentage declines from a year earlier, the data showed. Based on the ministry’s latest survey of local firms, export orders this month are expected to either decline 1.9 percent year-on-year or increase 2 percent to between US$38 billion and US$39.5 billion.
Presidential Inauguration: Coalition calls for drafting new constitutionBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterA coalition of civic groups yesterday called for the drafting of a new constitution to reflect the current political reality, as President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) held a low-key inauguration ceremony to mark the start of her second term in office. “We need to draft a new constitution, and through the process, Taiwanese can create a new republic,” Economic Democracy Union convener Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) told a media briefing in Taipei. Members of several civic groups hold signs at a news conference in Taipei yesterday as they urged the government to draft a new constitution for the nation. Its constitutional framework was based on China’s overall population and territories, which consisted of 35 provinces at the time. Also joining the call for a new consitution were the Taiwan Citizen Front Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy; the Taiwan Association of University Professors; the National Students’ Union of Taiwan; Taiwan Democracy Watch; Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan, Taiwan; the Association for Human Rights; and the Taiwan Labor Front.
Presidential Inauguration: KMT monitoring Tsai’s promises in her addressBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterThe Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will continue to supervise President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration in its role as the opposition party, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday, after Tsai was sworn in for a second term in Taipei. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang, right, yesterday sews a stuffed toy to be given out by a charity in Taipei. Photo: Ou Su-mei, Taipei TimesChiang said Tsai has “bounced the check” on nearly all the promises she made in front of the Presidential Office Building four years ago during her first inaugural address. A survey released by the KMT Culture and Communications Committee on Tuesday is a testament to people’s dissatisfaction, he said. Tsai’s inaugural address was mainly a repetition of what she said at her first inauguration, KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang said in a statement.
China’s iQiyi is illegal in Taiwan, NCC saysBy Shelley Shan / Staff reporterChinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. National Communications Commission spokesman Hsiao Chi-hung speaks at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee in Taipei on March 16. A commission draft act on OTT TV services would require all legal OTT operators to register with the commission, although iQiyi is no longer a legal operator, he said.
Pompeo slams exclusion from WHAIN PROTEST: The US’ top diplomat said the WHA had been deprived of Taiwan’s scientific expertise, while Tsai said political factors should not be put above healthBy Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterUS Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday condemned Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly (WHA), while President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday lodged a strong protest against the WHO for not inviting Taiwan. Pompeo, who on May 6 urged WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Taiwan to the WHA, condemned the WHO for excluding Taiwan under pressure from Beijing. Yet, he instead chose not to invite Taiwan under pressure from the People’s Republic of China [PRC],” Pompeo said. Taiwan is very willing to share its disease prevention experience with the world, so excluding Taiwan from the WHA is against global common interests, she said. That Tedros invited Xi to give a speech at the opening of the assembly demonstrated their close relationship, Ou said.
May 19, 2020 16:00 UTC