Yunlin chief candidates call for flood recovery budget
By Katherine Wei, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Three politicians vying to take Yunlin Magistrate Su Chih-fen's (蘇治芬) position became the center of attention at a protest yesterday led by the current magistrate against a perceived lack of government funds for flood management issues.
August 29, 2013, 12:22 am TWN
After Tropical Storm Trami swept through Taiwan, Yunlin County suffered agricultural losses of approximately NT$30 million due to heavy flooding. The losses prompted Su to lead over 400 farmers to protest in front of the Legislative Yuan, demanding the central government include in its national budget funding for areas that are prone to floods after natural disasters.
Su and her entourage first met with Executive Yuan officials to discuss the budget, hoping to double the flood-management budget from the current NT$10 billion per year. The Cabinet's Secretary-General Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) stated that the central government will prioritize flood issues in Yunlin, and the Cabinet has ordered the Ministry of Economic Affairs to arrange for dredging projects throughout Taiwan depending on the degree of each area's damage.
Despite being the leader, Su kept mum during most of the protest while her fellow DPP members — all three having volunteered to run for Su's position — shouted their displeasure at the Cabinet.
Supporters threw red powder as a form of protest. Former Yunlin Acting Magistrate Lee Chin-yung (李進勇), Legislator Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) and Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) took turns in expressing their views.
Local media outlets said Lee Ying-yuan spoke aggressively, Lee Chin-yung kept silent and Liu stood a ways off with a cold expression.
Liu declined after local reporters asked him to stand with the other two, saying that their trip north was to relay their complaints. “Everyone is assigned their own job; those who wish to express their opinion may do so, mine is to speak harshly to the premier.”