There had been many
occasions where I had to deliver a speech in public but before speaking in the
Hakka language, I would wonder if, in my opening remarks, I ought to make an
apology statement in Mandarin. Then I realized that, as a Hakka myself, why
should I ever feel sorry for speaking my mother tongue? With such a
realization, I just proceeded to complete my public speeches in Hakka, without
the slightest compunction.
Deeply saddened by the
loss of ethnic dignity and self-identity, which resulted from all kinds of
oppression during the authoritarian era that ended three decades ago, I was
determined to participate in social movements seeking to address such issues as
ethnic minorities, community development, and environmental protection. What
motivated me to take to the streets is a strong sense of justice as a young man
and self-esteem as a human being. I believe that many government officials who
have chosen to join the civil service have the same passion for public affairs.
It is an immense blessing for me to have a perfect opportunity now to fulfill
aspirations for racial equality, eco-friendly policy, and cultural education
for future generations.
Over the past four
years, former Minister Lee Yung-te has laid a solid foundation for sustainable
development of Hakka culture. Based on what he did, I am going to focus my
efforts on two objectives.
My first concern is
ethnicity mainstreaming in Taiwan. The language and culture of ethnic minorities
are not racially exclusive to their own people. They are also part of the
country’s cultural heritage. Only if they continue to develop can the nation
have rich cultural diversity. Therefore, I hope that general administrative
policies can incorporate a Hakka perspective to mainstream ethnicity in
Second, to mainstream
Hakka culture in Hakka settlements is what I attempt to do. Even though Hakka
villages have a large population of Hakka descendants, the language,
traditions, and ideology of the ethnic group are gradually dying out in the
Hakka regions. Hakka culture should be an indispensable part of Hakka
settlements as well as the country. So, my task is to restore our culture as a
mainstream on our land.
With my total devotion to Hakka affairs, I am ready for building a better cultural environment for the Hakka community. Staff members of the Council and I will work hard together to help all members of the ethnic community realize their aspirations for what it means to be a Hakka in Taiwan. May Hakka culture last forever!