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Jackie Chan becomes focus of debate in budget review

Jackie Chan becomes focus of debate in budget review

Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan became the focus of a rowdy debate Monday when a joint committee of the Taichung City Council reviewed an addition to the budget for Taiwan's biggest film festival.
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party councilmen Hsiao Chieh, Chen Fu-wen, and Wang Yue-bin and the ruling Kuomintang's Ting Cheng-chia asked the city not to invite the star to the 45th Golden Horse Festival and award ceremony, the equivalent of the Oscars in Taiwan.
"Jackie Chan still owes Taiwan's people an apology," Hsiao said, referring to the actor-director's description of the shooting of former President Chen Shui-bian on the eve of the 2004 presidential election as "a big joke, "which Hsiao said was tantamount to "humiliating all of Taiwan's people."
Chen Shui-bian's rival, Lien Chan of the KMT, alleged that the shooting, in which Chen was slightly injured, was staged to sway the result of the hotly contested election without providing substantial evidence. Chen won by a razor-thin margin.
"If Jackie Chan comes, I will definitely pelt him with eggs," Hsiao said.
In response, Chen Yun-feng, director of the Taichung City government's Department of Information, said the incident "was a thing of the past."
He urged city councilors to look ahead, noting that directors from Hong Kong, Macau and China will be invited to attend the film gala.
As Taiwan is expecting the arrival of more Chinese tourists next month, he said the film festival will also help promote the city.
The central Taiwan city has won the right to host this year's Golden Horse Award, which will be held on Dec. 6.
The festival's executive committee estimated that it will cost NT$60 million to host the event, with NT$15 million coming from the Government Information Office, NT$20 million from the city government, and the balance coming from the executive committee.
Some councilmen, such as Huang Kuo-shu, said the Taichung City government should not spend money on the project, but rather should ask for more subsidies from the central government or solicit funds from private sponsors.
Councilmen Chang Liao Wan-chien and Tseng Chao-jung argued that Taichung hosted the festival four years ago and can let another city or county sponsor the festival this time because the event will not do much to help promote Taichung.
The joint committee ultimately passed a resolution asking the city to ask for more funding from the central government. It said that if the city could obtain more funding, then the additional NT$20 million budget would not be needed, but if no new funding was forthcoming, then the NT$20 million budget would be passed.
In an addendum to the resolution, some councilmen asked that the Golden Horse Award executive committee not invite Jackie Chan to the festival, but a majority of councilmen present at the meeting said they disagreed with the proposal.


Updated : 2021-05-08 12:19 GMT+08:00