I blogged on the apparent assault on NTU's popular bulletin board system here.
Public outrage ensued after a notice from the Ministry of Education surfaced requesting that National Taiwan University “reflect and improve the content of its PTT Gossip board.”
Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) vehemently denied that the ministry was attempting to interfere with freedom of speech on the Internet. However, Wu’s refusal to retract the notice in question, after the massive public outcry, reflects the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration’s position on stifling the most basic and universally recognized human rights — freedom for individuals to think, believe, speak, publish, inquire, associate and be informed.
The notice to the university and the legal threats an Internet user faced after making a spoof of a campaign video by KMT Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), who is seeking the top job in the to-be-formed Greater Taichung special municipality, only added to the series of civil rights violations under President Ma Ying-Jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
As I have discussed in the past, Taiwan has a High Context Culture where everyone knows what is expected of them without having to be told explicitly. The Ministry letter about political speech appears to be a good example of this culture at work. A friend flipped me a few notes about that missive and graciously consented to me posting them on the blog:
1. The phrase "乾淨的園地" is used on many cleansing campaigns during early White Terror Era. The KMT saw anything that might infringe upon its legitimacy to rule as dirty. The same phrase was also used on radio and TV stations to clean-up Taiwanese TV drama as well as Taiwanese songs and replace them with Peking Opera (which the KMT labeled as National Opera) and Mandarin shows. The current administration was now aiming to create a clean and comfortable environment for citizens to enjoy. The cleansing efforts were well-documented. I don't think one should just glide over the phrase "to create a cleaner environment", since it has more serious implications knowing the history of Taiwan.Interesting, eh?
2. The command "請查照" was often used by the Garrison Command as well as other KMT law enforcement apparatus when demanding other government or civilian organizations to do what it wanted. It literally means please investigate and act accordingly. MOE wasn't reminding NTU, it is demanding something to be done.
- Journal of Current Chinese Affairs with a number of Taiwan-related articles
- Chen Shui-bian found guilty. What a surprise.
- Taiwan supports Asian region FTA?
- In contrast to many advanced countries, Taiwanese with HIV are regularly outed to their families by the testing authorities.
- 16 Taiwanese-American organizations urge Clinton to be politically neutral in his upcoming visit.
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