TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Premier Wu Den-yih restricted messages to his e-mail address to 1,500 characters, belying his image as a politician close to the people, reports said Tuesday.
Cabinet spokesman Johnny Chiang reacted to the report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times daily by saying Wu had another e-mail address for longer messages.
The web sites for President Ma Ying-jeou and Vice President Vincent Siew did have no such restrictions, while the White House in the United States set a generous limit of 2,500 words, the paper said.
Wu had left a message on the web site welcoming public opinion and describing the electronic mailbox as the speediest way for interaction between public and government. However, when a reader filled out his own information and went to the space reserved for the message, he would find out a line warning him that there was a maximum of 1,500 characters, the paper said.
Wu’s was the only government mailbox which established such restrictions, according to the Liberty Times, which mentioned the electronic mailboxes of the president and several government ministers, including the interior minister and the foreign minister, as having no such limits at all.
Demanding information about letter writers was legal, but restrictions on the size of messages hindered the public’s freedom of expression, the paper said. The limits would make people feel it wasn’t worth the effort to try writing a message to the premier, according to the report.
Chiang said the government would reevaluate the design of the web site and take the practicality for members of the public as the main aim of the improvements.