2012年9月23日 星期日

「換內閣、救經濟」-給台灣一個生存的機會

【2012-09-21內閣不信任案-院會五分鐘發言內容】台灣現在的處境可說是內憂外患,主要是當權者破壞憲政體制,無視於國家面臨的挑戰,治國無方、無能、無感,讓我們對國家的前景感到高度憂心。因此民主進步黨負責任的回應民意要求,慎重的提出對內閣的不信任案。

首先,對外的環境,我們面臨的是歐洲債務風暴的持續擴大,中東即便是看到了茉莉花革命的民主希望種子,但是動盪及戰亂依舊。美國經濟停滯不前,其全球影響力也開始式微。而亞洲周邊的國家近來也因領土爭議,衝突一觸即發。此外,快速崛起的中國霸權,對台灣主權的野心和國際打壓,更讓我們憂心日益艱困的台灣國際處境。遺憾的是,我們看到國家領導人無視於對外全球環境的險峻,以及國家迫切需要的專業和遠見,以個人親信的政治安排及人事來回應國際的挑戰,更凸顯了政府與民意脫節的事實。

對內,我們的貧富差距快速擴大,失業率屢創新高,國人薪資大不如前,物價攀升,進出口嚴重衰退,各項經濟指標都顯示台灣是亞洲之末。過去的亞洲之光,如今的教育體系也讓我們憂心現今職場所需的技職教育,一方面特定產業嚴重缺工,寧可關廠外移或不接單;另外一方面,許多年輕人找不到工作,勞動條件惡化,勞動人力供需失衡。甚至回鄉務農的年輕人,也因為政府的政策反覆導致血本無歸。許多的專業人才頻頻外移,不當的政策讓台灣過去引以為傲的人力資源,成為國家未來競爭力的嚴重挑戰。此外,我國城鄉差距日益擴大,都市跟偏鄉之間的資源,分配極度不公,國家負債與財政缺口快速擴大,同樣面臨危機。

然而面對這些問題,現在的行政團隊,卻只將經濟依賴中國,更親近無時無刻在國際上打壓我們的中國,視為是解決一切問題的良藥。也因此提不出系統性的產業檢討,使台灣的經濟不但在劇烈變動的世界環境當中,成為依賴中國且不斷自我衰退的「中國邊陲」。台灣不再是過去自信的、小而富且充滿活力的亞洲小龍頭。當國人失去信心的當下,不知檢討國營事業經濟效率與改革,也提不出可長可久的安全永續能源政策。政府貿然油電雙漲,只想從已經痛苦的人民身上,再壓榨出資源,內閣上任之初,從隱匿禽流感疫情,到瘦肉精美牛的進口,證所稅的政策規劃,在在地背離民意。當民意沸騰時,更看不出謙卑與檢討,當今政權反而以羞辱陳總統,剝奪其司法人權的手段來轉移施政無能的焦點。很清楚的,政府只會推卸責任。

如今國家最高行政首長的行政院長,以及各部會首長,只淪為馬總統的幕僚群,我們看到的是奉承馬屁,推卸責任,而不是憲政體制下該有的承擔。總統看報治國,後知後覺,將自己包圍在親信和近親圈中,對環境的險峻和國家的危機,視若無睹,內閣也跟著自我感覺良好,聽不見人民的聲音,感受不到人民的痛苦。根本是一個無感麻木、脫離民意、無能的內閣,更是一個沒有辦法承擔憲政治國責任的內閣,因此我們為人民發聲,提出這個沉痛的呼籲-「換內閣、救經濟」,給台灣一個生存的機會。

2012-09-21內閣不信任案-院會五分鐘發言內容

2012年9月11日 星期二

[在地報導]Discovering Hualien's history and culture

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Visitors to Fusing Village, Rueisuei Township, Hualien County, make pineapple cakes on Friday.
Photo: Loa Iok-sin, Taipei Times

Most people mention Taroko Gorge or the beach at Cisingtan (七星潭) when discussing Hualien’s highlights, but for travelers who wish to learn more about the area’s culture and history, there is much more to explore.

Unlike most areas in the county which are covered by rice paddies, Fusing Village (富興) in Hualien County’s Rueisuei Township (瑞穗) is an eye-catcher, as it is covered by pineapple fields.

“Pineapples are our main product. We used to be the top supplier of Typhone Group in the 1960s and 1970s,” Fusing Community Development Association executive director Yang Ching-mao (楊清茂) told the Taipei Times during an interview at the village. “However, everything went downhill when Typhone's canned pineapple factory closed in the late 1970s.”

Fusing was not the only farming community affected by the decline of the agricultural sector and the expansion of the industrial sector in the 1970s. However, the village found other ways to survive.

“In the 1980s, we discovered that many people liked to decorate altars in temples or at home with pineapple flowers, so we quickly picked up on the trend and took advantage of our knowledge of growing pineapples,” Yang said. “At the moment, more than 90 percent of pineapple flowers in the country are grown here.”

Villagers also came up with a way to deal with leftover pineapples — turning them into pineapple cakes.

“We make pineapple cakes using our own pineapples. Many well-known pineapple cake brands started buying pineapples from us to make their cakes after they tried our cakes,” Yang said.

The village has created a placed called Fusing Inn, where travelers can buy local handicraft, pineapple products, make their own pineapple cakes and have a few other pineapple dishes, such as a deep-fried crust stuffed with pineapple, fish steamed with pineapple and a pork rib soup cooked with pineapple and bitter melon.

“I guess I say our story can be considered a story of success, and we’re proud to pass on the generations-long pineapple-growing business to the next generation and show it to visitors,” Yang said.

Besides reviving a village with pineapples, some Hualien residents are seeking to revive historical buildings that may otherwise be demolished.

Visitors to Taiwan Sugar Co’s Hualien Sugar Factory in Guangfu Township (光復) can spend a night in Japanese-style buildings built in the 1930s for high-ranking Japanese managers at the sugar factory, which have been turned into lodging facilities for guests.

“We have been seeking ways to make the sugar factory an attractive tourist destination since 2002, when sugar production was suspended,” Lin Kuo-liang (林國樑), a supervisor from the sugar factory’s hotel department said. “We thought it may be worth a try to turn the wooden Japanese buildings, originally reserved for high-ranking Japanese managers, into guesthouses for travelers.”

It was not an easy job, since the wooden buildings were built more than 80 years ago.

“We spent more than three years repairing and remodeling these buildings. The project was completed in 2010, and we finally obtained a hotel license last year,” Lin said.

Currently, the business boasts 28 guesthouses — including eight double rooms and 20 triple rooms — capable of housing 76 people per night, Lin said.

The interior of the guesthouses authentic Japanese with tatami mats and wooden beams — as well as a Japanese-style bathtub — all made from Japanese cypress.

“One thing you may notice when you walk into a room is that there is a fragrance of the Japanese cypress,” Lin said while showing the interior of a room to the Times. “We’re proud of it, because these are the first wooden Japanese buildings to be turned into a hotel in the country and since we’ve done it, many other government institutions with wooden Japanese dormitories, such as Taiwan Railroad Administration and the Forestry Bureau, are also considering doing so.”

Those who are interested in Aboriginal culture may make a visit to the Amis community of Fata-an in Guangfu Township, which is only about a 10-minute drive away from the sugar factory.

Unlike most Aboriginal villages that are already filled with modern buildings, walking into Fata-an may make visitors feel that they have taken a step back in time.

Wetlands surrounding the village are well preserved, while most of the buildings in the village are built in the ancient Amis style with wood.

“These are our traditional bowls,” Rasuany, chieftain of Fata-an, told visitors as he held up two rectangular containers.

“They are made of betel nut leaves, because we didn’t the skill to make potteries in ancient times,” he said.

He said the Amis living in Fata-an have traditionally used containers made of betel nut leaves, while Amis living in the nearby Tavalang Village have always known how to make pottery.

“Our people used to have frequent exchanges, so we once used pottery, but for some reason the two villages had a fight, and the residents of Tavalang Village decided not to provide us with pottery, so we went back to using betel nut leaves,” Rasuany said.

He explained how ancient villagers cooked; they threw rocks into the fire, and when rocks were hot, they would remove the rocks, and place bowls onto the rocks to cook food.

“Otherwise, the bowls made of betel nuts would burn,” he said, adding that visitors to the village can cook food in the ancient Fata-an way if they wish to do so.


2012年9月10日 星期一

[藍色公路報導]Lawmaker pushes east coast ferry plan

Mon, Sep 10, 2012 - Page 3 News List  TAIPET TIMES

Lawmaker pushes east coast ferry plan

ALL ABOARD?While the Hualien DPP representative said the cost of such a transport link are potentially prohibitive, the region is desperately in need of a new service

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said she hopes that a proposal to establish a sea lane transportation route along the east coast would resolve the decades-long traffic issue which has plagued the region’s residents.

Hsiao plans to propose the establishment of a sea lane connecting Suao (蘇澳), Yilan County and Hualien by ferry to ease the current railway ticket shortage and also to cut the commute people have to endure when traveling by highway.

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“Once the sea lane is established, it will only take one hour to get to Hualien and the traffic situation along the Suhua Highway will be greatly improved. It will also help address the scarcity of railway tickets,” Hsiao told reporters during a visit to Hualien at the weekend.

The main transport link between eastern and northern Taiwan — the 118km-Suhua Highway – is built into cliffs high above the Pacific Ocean and is notoriously dangerous.

Transportation has long been a “nightmare” for residents in Hualien with railway tickets in limited supply and the coastal highway often being closed due to landslides during the typhoon season.

The ticket issue worsened after Taiwan relaxed regulations on cross-strait travelers, causing an influx of Chinese tourists to the region, Hsiao said.

Most young people from the region — which continues to see a population outflow — work in Taipei and return to Hualien to spend time with their families which makes commuting time an important issue, she said, adding that transportation was also crucial for the region which is known for its agricultural produce.

“Ask residents in eastern Taiwan and I guess more than 90 percent of them would support the proposal — or any proposal which would alleviate the transportation hassle” Hsiao said.

The lawmaker — who represents Hualien constituency — said the project would be a win-win situation for everyone and would help by splitting passenger flow, ensuring availability of transport links during typhoon season, creating another tourist attraction as well as reducing the commute time from between two to three hours down to one.

The costs for such a project would be a lot lower than building a land-based alternative and would be welcomed by the environmentalists, she said, adding that a ferry which could carry passengers, buses and trucks would answer multiple service needs.

There used to be a sea transport line between northern and eastern Taiwan and a Taiwanese company bought a second-hand ferry from Japan in 1975, called the Lupinus, which offered passenger and cargo transport between Keelung Port and Hualien. However, the once popular ferry line was forced to close in 1983 after the North-Link railway line went into operation in 1980.

Hsiao said she is worried that the project could be unprofitable due to high ticket prices and fuel costs and that the service would need to be fully government-funded or it would need to adopt a BOT (built, operate, transfer) model which would include private operators, but she says she is not planning on giving up.

The lawmaker said she would keep pushing the proposal in the upcoming legislative session and plans to organize public hearings on the subject.

“If the government offers transportation subsidies to residents on outlying islands, it would be fair to offer residents of eastern Taiwan the same,” Hsiao said.

“People in eastern Taiwan pay taxes just like those in western Taiwan. They don’t deserve to be treated like second-class citizens,” Hsiao said.