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Ko Wen-je, William Lai praise each other’s work ethics and humility

Ko Wen-je, William Lai praise each other’s work ethics and humility

Mayors Ko Wen-je of Taipei and William Lai of Tainan were lavish in their praise for each other at a book launch for Lai’s most recent publication. Ko limned Lai as someone whose hard work and diligence have won him the title of "Saint William," while Lai was effusive in his praise of Ko, saying he was went up against giant business consortia like David going out against Goliath armed with only a slingshot.

Lai explained that his book laid out some of the highlights and lessons from his first four years as mayor of Tainan. One friend called the book a "reference book for would-be mayors", he said, but he preferred to have it compared to a book describing some of the secrets of the martial arts.

Lai quoted three sentences from a Jin Yong martial arts novel which he said instruct him on how to handle opponents that are stronger and bigger than he is. He said that as a fan of martial arts novels he finds such books inspiring, claiming they help him face up to any threat or temptation and overcome it.

Lai said his book can be viewed as a guide for mayors, but it can also serve as a guide for people who want to evaluate the effectiveness of a city government.

Ko lauded Lai for his decision last year to declare a typhoon holiday at a time when others across the island were putting off making an announcement and waiting for further information. He laughed and said that on that day Lai must have arisen at 4:00 in the morning to review the situation and make a decision by 5am on whether to close down businesses and schools. "That’s not divinity,” he quipped, “that’s just hard work."

Ko joked that he lacked political experience and sometimes looked a little reckless. Thus he may need to control his political statements and actions for a few months aid will modify his schedule to include lessons with mentors like Mayor Lai to teach him the ropes.

The two mayors represent two very different personalities, one tense and fast, the other slow and relaxed. Ko said he still has a lot to learn, musing that he might put the need to ‘get up and make decisions at 5 in the morning’ as part of the municipal government’s SOP.

Lai noted that although the two of them are different in some ways, one from the south and the other from the north of Taiwan, and one introverted while the other is outgoing, they are very similar in their training and principles. He predicted that Ko will be very effective in handling his municipal duties and said the Taipei mayor is welcome in Tainan at any time.

Updated : 2021-09-26 03:58 GMT+08:00