Taiwan elder statesman donates NT$5.8 million to underprivileged families

95-year-old former Presidential Office advisor Koo Kwang-ming shares Lunar New Year generosity with disadvantaged families in hometown

Koo Kwang-ming gives red envelops to disadvantaged families in Lukang. (Facebook photo)

Koo Kwang-ming gives red envelops to disadvantaged families in Lukang. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏), a 95-year-old former advisor to Taiwan's Presidential Office, has for the seventh straight year donated to disadvantaged families in Changhua County's Lukang Township to celebrate the arrival of the Lunar New Year holiday.

On Friday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) veteran politician handed out red envelopes containing NT$5000 (US$167) each, totaling of NT$5.8 million, to residents of his hometown who are victims of poverty. He has contributed more than NT$40 million worth of charity money over the last seven years, according to Liberty Times.

As underprivileged families lined up to receive his kindness, Koo promised that he will continue to give back to the town where he formed his childhood memories. He added that he wants to share the joy of the Lunar New Year with everyone, regardless of their political stance.

Lukang Mayor Sheu Jyh-Horng (許志宏) said that Koo is still in nearly perfect health despite his age and that his insistence on giving back to the people is truly admirable. Sheu added that Koo's principle of "people before politics" is wisdom that all Taiwanese politicians should heed, reported New Tang Dynasty Television.

Koo served as former president Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) policy advisor until resigning in 2005, and he is a longtime advocate of Taiwan independence. However, he has been criticized for his reluctance to stand behind female politicians in the country.