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Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Ma Ying-jeou tells aborigines that he sees them as humans

Update: Ma has now apologized twice and a spokesman from the Xizhou community has said that Ma's comments "hurt their feelings."

The Taiwanese blogosphere and alert readers have caught Ma Ying-jeou on camera telling a community of aboriginal squatters on the Xindian River that

"I see you as humans and as citizens of this city. I'm going to educate you well and do a good job of providing you with opportunities. That's the place from which the attitude of aborigines needs to be adjusted...now that you've come here, you need to play by the rules here..." [emphasis added]

Ma's unbelievably patronizing comments were delivered on Dec. 8th when members of the community presented a petition to Ma at the appropriately named Chiang Kai-shek (Zhongzheng) Public Housing Community. You'll have to skip ahead to about 7:20 to hear Ma making these comments. Personally, I found his comments around 6:20 where he says that "it's not that their [aborigines'] genes have a problem, their opportunities have a problem" at least as offensive. Could this finally be the beginning of the end of aboriginal support for the KMT?

The Xizhou Tribe refers to small settlements of aboriginal squatters mainly from rural Hualien that have been living on both sides of the Xindian River since the 1970s. They are now facing forced relocation to public housing in Sanxia ostensibly on grounds that their settlements are threatened by flooding. Most people familiar with the situation believe that the real reason is that authorities in Taipei County and Taipei City want to turn the areas into more riverside parks sans aborigines.

In a clumsy but telling example of self-censorship, the clip linked to here ran on Taiwan Indigenous TV on December 15th but as Yufu wrote in a letter to today's Liberty Times, the station pulled the story from its site after Taiwanese blogger ma1Dog posted the clip on Dec. 22nd.

Since Roland Soong is so deeply concerned with media censorship over on ESWN, perhaps he'd like to bring this story to a wider audience to disprove doubts about his impartiality when it comes to Taiwan.


At 2:58 AM, Blogger Corey/可瑞 said...

I must be reading this incorrectly...there is no way a politician could be this insensitive and ignorant to a native peoples (please note 很大 sarcasm). This is the exact reason, I imagine 馬 just wanting to capitalize on the aboriginal tourist trade, from foreigners and the Taiwanese. (One example is the amusement park; another, being blocked from cutting down trees in forests like they've been doing for centuries.)

...I said if Huckabee or Romney were elected into the US presidency, I would move to Taiwan...but, what if 馬 is elected as president of Taiwan? *sigh*

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They wanted patronage and got patronized instead.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Taiwan Echo said...

Starting a company "Corey Cross-Pacific Cruise" will be nice, you can spend most time in between ... :) :)

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Corey/可瑞 said...

Good idea, but CCPC is dangerously close to that one political party that I'm not too fond of. Maybe it could be "Kerui" instead.

In five years when I have this all planned out and running, you guys can hop on for free, 哈哈.

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous liau said...

228英烈冤魂多 新店檳榔路後山 明(12.30)立碑


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