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President Ma honors civilian heroes
Central News Agency
2014-01-13 11:31 PM
Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday praised a number of civilian heroes from various sectors of society for their selfless devotion to the country during a meeting at the Presidential Office. Ma said that more than 8 million overseas visitors were attracted to Taiwan last year not only because of its scenic views and gourmet foods but also the virtue of the country's people. He commended these civilian heroes for treading into every corner of Taiwan and serving as testaments to Taiwan's competitiveness and driving forces behind social reforms. The civilian heroes were selected through online voting from a list of 100 people recommended by Global Views Monthly as role models in several areas: public service, support for the disadvantaged, social welfare, environmental protection, health care, education and communications, arts, culture and sports. The common traits of these unsung heroes are their silent dedication to society and their insistence on their ideals even when encountering setbacks, Ma noted, adding that they have helped improve Taiwan through their personal influence. Lin Le-chan, a Cambodian spouse of a Taiwanese man, ranked first in the online poll for her longstanding efforts at helping foreign spouses of Taiwanese citizens. Lin, who was selected among the Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons last year, came to Taiwan 16 years ago when she married a man in the central county of Changhua. She then started her volunteer work, from helping collect books and setting up a community library, to eventually establishing a new immigrant and interchange association to help foreign spouses and children of new immigrants. "I started serving as a volunteer with the aim of making the community I live in better. Though many things seemed to be difficult to me, once you decide to devote yourself, you will achieve some positive results," Lin said. She added that she never thought of becoming a hero even if her mother-in-law told her that her performance was even better than the president's. Chuang Chun-kuei, an elementary school teacher in Chiayi City for 26 years, was also named a civilian hero for his longstanding care of socially disadvantaged students. Chuang said in December 2013 at a ceremony to honor her selection as a civilian hero that she has been helping students from disadvantaged families and those with disabilities to rebuild their confidence and fuel their interest in learning through love and patience. (By Lee Shu-hua and Y.L. Kao)
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