Impersonating as "Professor Ma", our president visited St. John's University of Science and Technology yesterday and chatted with a group of students. However, Ma must feel quite disappointed when he asked some students what Kuokuang petrochemical complex was but they told him they did not have any knowledge about the controversial multi-billion-dollar project. Those students' ignorance revealed a fact that they neither had the habit of reading newspapers nor cared about current local news events. It is not a good sign when our highly educated young minds don't want to pay a slight attention to things happening around them. How can they be trusted to lead the country some twenty or thirty years after they graduate?
"I hear the sound of the wind, the sound of the rain, and the sound of book reading;
And I care about every thing, be it of my home, my country, and the world."
These are words by Gu Xian-chen (顧憲成1550-1612), a Ming-dynasty thinker and scholar whose words, for nearly five hundred years, has been regarded as a model and guideline for what Chinese intellectuals should do about things around them.
Though local media have been harshly criticized by many for various reasons, I still encourage all my readers to form a habit of reading daily newspapers or checking recent occurrences online on daily basis. We are very fortunate to live on this island where freedom of the press and freedom of speech are endowed and practiced. It sure is a pity if we do not take advantage of these constitutional rights of ours.