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Next first lady may keep her Mega job

TAOYUAN, Taiwan -- They lined up like everybody else before a check-in counter at Taoyuan International Airport yesterday.

But quite a few passengers noticed they were no ordinary ladies.

One of them was none other than Mrs. Christine C. Ma, wife of president-elect Ma Ying-jeou. The other two were their two daughters checking in for a flight back to the United States.

A commotion ensued.

People wanted to shake the next first lady’s hand. And she obliged politely, but refused to talk to paparazzi. That was Christine at her modest best.

She started a whirlwind wherever she went stumping for her husband in the last couple days of his presidential campaign after she had been smeared as a newspaper thief at the Harvard-Yenching Library in Cambridge, Mass., more than a score of years before.

It was a false accusation.

Mrs. Ma shook hands with fans of her husband, bowing deeply each time she shook hands. People she addressed commented later she was just as charismatic as Ma, who has been dubbed “the Little Elder Brother” by reporters in the local Taiwan media.

When she went to see off her daughters Wei-chung and Yuan-chung, Christine refused privilege, waiting together with them in queue for their turns to check in.

Miss Ma Wei-chung is now working in New York. She has U.S. citizenship, and that gave detractors an alibi to accuse Ma Ying-jeou of planning to flee Taiwan for the United States as father of an American citizen.

Her sister Yuan-chung is studying at Brown University in Rhode Island.

They came back to Taipei to vote in the presidential election.

Paparazzi wanted to ask Mrs. Ma if she would continue working as a Mega Financial Holding manager after May 20.

As a matter of fact, the reporters didn’t have to ask. The answer was provided by Ma Ying-jeou.

At a press conference after his landslide victory, Ma said Saturday night his wife likes to keep her Mega job.

“I’ll talk to her about it,” Ma told reporters. “I believe her desire to work is very high,” he said.

Maybe, the paparazzi wished to know whether the new first lady would go to office by bus or aboard a presidential limousine.

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 Next first lady may keep her Mega job 
Mrs. Christine C. Ma, wife of President-elect Ma Ying-jeou, center, hugs her daughter Wei-chung at Taoyuan International Airport. She sent off her two daughters to the United States yesterday. The Ma sisters came back to Taipei to vote in the presidential election on Saturday. (CNA)

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