Taiwan Today: Ma reports his indictment to KMT, Japanese man makes video to thank Taiwan

Ma Ying-jeou defended himself against charges and he wondered if political forces have intervened in the case.

Ma reports his indictment to KMT top brass

Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who has been indicted for breach of trust, took his case to the main opposition Kuomintang’s (KMT’s) Central Standing Committee Wednesday, reiterating his innocence and accusing the prosecutors of executing a  “political” scheme against him.

Ma was indicted July 10 by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for breach of trust and violating the Securities and Exchange Act in his role as KMT chairman in the disposal of party assets.

Ma stressed that all of his decisions on disposing of the party’s assets had been approved by the party’s Central Standing Committee, which in January this year reaffirmed that the party’s interests have not been compromised in the deals to sell the assets in question.

And yet, Ma said, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office chose to ignore all these stark facts and went on to indict him and other former KMT officials. “You can easily guess their (the prosecutors’) motivations,” he said.

Taiwan urges China to work out rules for interaction with Taiwan

Taiwan’s minister of mainland affairs on Wednesday put forth a candid and practical proposal for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to work out rules for an orderly interaction.

Taiwan’s minister of mainland affairs Chen Min-tun said that the Republic of China on Taiwan will never relinquish its sovereignty in exchange for an illusory peace.

“The two sides differ internally in their views on the development of cross-Strait relations. They should mutually respect each other, listen to rational views domestically, and work out rules for an orderly interaction,” Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said in his opening remarks at an international conference on “The Opportunities and Challenges of Cross-Strait Relations” sponsored by the Heritage Foundation.

Beijing has used “sharp power” to export its ideology and influence government policy-making in other countries, he continued. This has put many nations on increased alert and drawn attention to Mainland China’s intention to expand institutional control and
change the global order, Chen said.

“We will not degrade ourselves because of belittlement by others, but will more determinedly reach out to the world. Looking ahead, we are certain that dialogue is the best option to resolve differences. The choice between conflict and peace in fact lies in the thoughts of the leaders,” he said.

Japanese man makes video to thank Taiwan for earthquake aid

In gratitude for Taiwan’s help in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Shunske Hagiwara from Japan’s Gunma Prefecture has spent 86 days in Taiwan filming a video to help promote Taiwan tourism.

During filming, the 27-year-old tried various local foods, including rice noodle soup, meatballs, bawan and stinky tofu at traditional markets. “Stinky tofu smells awful, but tastes good,” he said.

In addition, Hagiwara cycled around Hsinchu, Taiwan’s “City of Wind,” to feel the city’s winds, danced with indigenous people in Hualien, and was deeply impressed by the scenery of the Gaomei Wetlands in Taichung.

“The most beautiful scenery in Taiwan is its hospitality,” said Hagiwara, who quit his job in April to make the video, adding that thanks to the hospitality of the Taiwanese people, he spent only about NT$30,000 (US$979) on his three-month stay.

Taiwan still in Japanese encephalitis peak season

Taiwan is still in the peak season for Japanese encephalitis, with four new cases confirmed across the nation last week. according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Last week, four cases of Japanese encephalitis were reported, with the patients ranging in age from 37 to 52 years old. One each of the cases was recorded in Yilan, Taoyaun, Yunlin and Hualien. All four patients are in intensive care, and one of them is still unconscious, the CDC said.

Indonesian caregiver sentenced to 6 months for breach of contract

An Indonesian woman who absconded last year from her job as a caregiver has been sentenced to six months in prison for breach of contract, Shihlin District Court in Taipei said in a statement Wednesday.

Agustin Inbaryati was hired in September 2017 by a family surnamed Yu to take care of an elderly man who had earlier suffered a stroke, but the caregiver ran off on Oct. 14 last year, leaving the man alone in the house, the court said.

Inbaryati said she decided to abscond because the manpower agency that handled her employment was not paying her the agreed wages.

After serving her six-month sentence, Inbaryati will be deported, the court said. The verdict can be appealed.