Taiwan as the World Turns: Taichung Mayor Jason Hu Turns to Mah-jong

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Saturday October 25, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Just 3 months after Taichung police ducked for cover as an alleged gangster chief was gunned down in his office, Mayor Jason Hu announced that the crime rate is down. Wow! so quick. What was his solution especially after Taichung Police Commissioner Hu Mu-yuan resigned because of the high crime rate?

Local punsters have a simple ready answer for this. They say Mayor Hu ordered more Mah-jong tiles. What's that? An aide to Hu supposedly explained. "We feel that the assassination of the alleged gang leader Weng Chi-nan was not done out of revenge; the other gangsters were just jealous that Weng was getting to play mah-jong with police officers and they were not. Jason Hu's brilliant solution to lowering the crime rate was to buy more mah-jong games and make them standard equipment for all police. In that way, police can visit any gangster office and set down for a friendly game.

Other members of the Mayor's public relations force say the move was brilliant. By allowing more gangsters to play mah-jong with the police, that will naturally keep them off the streets.

Other city councilors were more skeptical with questions like, "Who funds the police losses in the games if and when they lose?"

Or, "Allowing more gangsters to play with police keeps the gangsters off the street, but it also keeps the police off the street as well."

Do the citizens of Taichung believe that the crime rate dropped so drastically as Jason Hu claims? It is a bit hard to believe, but so the world turns in Taichung.