In the national conference of the Youth Policy Forum President Ma Ying-jeou participated on August 23, 26 of the students present were against the death penalty while 46 were in favor.

Ma says the death penalty hasn’t been abolished but neither has it been carried out much. In the three years Luo Ying-xue has been Minister of Justice, five to six people face the death penalty annually and a total of fifty people were executed in three years Ma served as the minister. Ma says, “The death penalty won’t be abolished, but will be implemented carefully."

Apple Daily reports, Ma asked the opinions of the students that were for and against the death penalty during the conference. One of the students that supported the penalty said her family member was murdered and the criminal was sentenced 14 years but got out of prison with an eight year probation. But the loss of the youngest child in her family can’t be made up for. Another supporter of the penalty believes people should be punished for their faults.

A student against the death penalty believes that people put some power in the government, for example the existence of the death penalty is like transferring the right of life to the government. This is why the student doesn’t support the penalty. Another student says that every life is unique and people shouldn’t choose to revenge through taking another life because it’s too extreme.

Liberty Times reports, Ma also has thoughts on the Chinese language policy and believes that Taiwan doesn’t have to use simplified Chinese to attract Chinese tourists.

CNA reports, Ma says the amount of Chinese students overseas have exceeded that of Taiwan. Chinese schools have been discussing whether to use traditional or simplified characters for thirty years and haven’t reached a conclusion, but the Overseas Community Affairs Council will come up with something.

Chinese schools overseas use teaching materials provided by the council. There was a year when the council still used traditional characters, but added phonetic symbols next to the simplified characters. Over 13 billion people around the world use simplified Chinese and 40 million use traditional Chinese, of which Taiwan takes up half. Under these circumstances, Ma believes the promoting of traditional Chinese education will be an important issue in the future.

Photo Credit: Ministry of Education

Photo Credit: Ministry of Education

Translated by Olivia Yang