Journey of Education Oriented Legislator
As a typical Aries, Shiuchu Hong is always passionate and vigorous, upfront and honest, accountable and courageous, optimistically diligent and committed to her responsibility. Even if her father was a victim of political prosecution in the White-Terror Era, Shiuchu never complained about her misfortune, and continues to identify herself as a royal KMT member and insists on uprightness. From her career as a teacher to the Vice President of the Legislative Yuan, Shiuchu has never changed.
1. Miss Shiuchu Hong, Brilliant with Oratorical Talent, by Credit Newspaper
Since her childhood, Shiuchu was already outstanding. Glowing with her oratorical talent, Shiuchu attended the storytelling contest in her fifth grade at the Dong Yuan Primary School. The media was impressed by her eloquence on stage and the Credit Newspaper (predecessor of China Times) even wrote a column about her, titled Miss Shiuchu Hong, Brilliant with Oratorical Talent and published it on the third page. As Shiuchu was the class president, she was very popular in school and favored by all teachers. Shiuchu was later admitted to the Taipei Second Girls' High School (predecessor of Chung San High School) and was having a blast at the school. Excelling in Chinese and History, Shiuchu was a frequent winner of composition and public speech contests that she participated in on behalf of her school and brought honor to the school. However, she was relatively weak in math and science, and this has taught her to never be arrogant and complacent and stay humble to improve her weakness and learn from others.
Shiuchu's father came from a law background and educated her about the importance of law since her childhood. To meet her father’s expectation to become a judge or attorney, Shiuchu only filled six law schools in her university application form. To her surprise, she flunked in math in the university entrance exam and the only option left was the Departments of Law, College of Chinese Culture (predecessor of Chinese Cultural University). Deeply frustrated, she received a letter from her teacher back in the eighth grade with background information about the Departments of Law and faculty members to encourage her to rebound from the setback.
Shiuchu still remembers vividly a key point from the letter: “If you are a diamond, you will shine no matter where you are!” This has inspired her, and she realized that sincere care and appropriate guidance will indeed influence and even change the life of a person.
During her four years at the Chinese Cultural University, Shiuchu was continuously motivated and coached by her teachers. As her family was in extreme poverty, Shiuchu worked part time and relied on scholarships for her tuition. After learning about her financial predicament, Qiyun Zhang, founder of the Chinese Cultural University, awarded her with a tuition waiver, noting: “Ms. Shiuchu Hong is a brilliant student with excellent conduct and academic performance, thereby all her tuition shall be waived.” She was deeply grateful for his help.
2. Career Detour from Potential Attorney to Youngest Director of Student Affairs in Taiwan
By the time Shiuchu finished her bachelor study, the Nine-Year Compulsory Education policy was enforced by the government and teachers were in short supply. Referred by her teachers, Shiuchu started to teach at the Xihu High School of Industry and Commerce. One year later, she was recommended again by her homeroom professor back at her university and transferred to the New Taipei Municipal Xiufeng Senior High School as the Director of Student Affairs. Shiuchu was only 23 years old at the time and was the youngest Director of Student Affairs. To better attend to the students, Shiuchu worked very hard to get close to students and worked long hours throughout the years. Her mother used to rag on her: “disappear as birds chirping in the morning and appear at midnight as ghosts crying!” and she even looked for students with their parents at midnight.
To acquire the teacher’s certificate, Shiuchu took both education related courses and studied counseling and student affairs related subjects during her free time to improve her professional abilities. Besides her love for children, the reason that Shiuchu was so committed to education was to prove that she was worthy of her teacher’s recommendation and just as capable as professional educators, although she was not from this field.
This is because Shiuchu was very indomitable, and thus, she devoted to all
tasks facing her.
As Shiuchu has gradually drifted apart from her father’s expectation due to her commitment to teaching, her father was quite upset. She explained to her father: “the ultimate goal of laws is to educate the society to abide by the law and law by itself can only address the symptoms, but education can reach deep into our heart, which is far more effective to set the society on the right course. So, education is the fundamental solution. Although I am an educator, I am marching toward the same goal as a lawyer and there is no need to feel disappointed.”
Shiuchu has transformed from a lawyer-to-be to an education practitioner.
After years as a teacher and director of student affairs, Shiuchu was incidentally discovered and recommended by Mr. Shixua Song to participate in women’s affairs, social welfares at the KMT’s New Taipei City Office and accidentally elected as a legislator. Even after a number of positions, Shiuchu still believed that education is where her passion lies. Thus, in her legislative career at the Legislative Yuan, she has remained a committed member at the Education and Culture Committee and is now an experienced professional legislator with the most extensive background in education. Concerning the psychological and physical development of our children and teenagers, she promoted and campaigned for Our Class, a popular teenager TV shows in the 80s, and even played the inculcating Auntie Hong in the show. Thus, each time she heard people telling her how far-reaching Our Class has influenced their life, Shiuchu was always thrilled.
3. Stumbled into Legislative Career to Alleviate Guilt for her Father
In early days, the basic party works were all-inclusive and ranged from promotion, social warfare, education to disaster rescue. To better serve the community, Shiuchu has set foot on all corners of New Taipei City. It did not occur to her that her effort has paved the way for her election.
It was an accident that she later embarked on her legislative career and the reason was not because she would like to fulfill her father’s expectation for her but to alleviate his guilt for his family. Her father has always thought that his political persecution during the White Terror Era has jeopardized the future of his children. To prove this is not the case, Shiuchu was determined to seek nomination in the first internal election held by the Kuomintang in 1989.
Motivated by her determination to alleviate the guilt that her father had for her family and fearless courage, Shiuchu still participated in the election with the self-help and diligent and thrift approach, despite of her lack of available resources. To her surprise, her speeches had won her support from basic KMT members and attracted media attention. Shiuchu finally passed the initial election and went from nobody to somebody.
After she was nominated, Shiuchu, an ordinary girl without distinguished family background, was supported by her friends, fellow townsmen, volunteers and voters and successfully sent to the congress to voice for the benefits of the people. The only regret was that by the time the election result was revealed, her father was at his last gasp and Shiuchu was unable to share the joy with her father to clear the shadow of White Terror for her father and this has remained the largest lament in her life!
By the time Shiuchu was three, her father was wronged for political prosecution and sent to the Green Island for three and a half years of reformatory education. The source of income for the family was cut out as a result, and even her youngest sister was given away for adoption. Upon his return, nobody dared to hire him and he could only make a living by writing litigation complaints on a part time basis for the rest of his life. To anyone, the miscarriage of justice is always a uttermost serious setback in life, but Shiuchu's father believed that it is an epoch tragedy, and hence, stressed to his children not to blame this on the government. In the six moths before his last breath, he was working on his memoir and the purpose is not to urge his children to avenge him, but to remind them that they should always commit to their responsibility and be accountable if they are to serve as civil servants in the future. They shall remain as civil servants as long as the conditions are agreeable and do not hesitate to leave if they are otherwise. To respect her father’s last wish, Shiuchu has always been serious and persistent, royal to her party and the country, insisted on her dream and profession, remained honest and upright and maintained her ethical and rational policy enquiring style. In a highly competitive political melting pot, Shiuchu has never exaggerated or acted in order to seal the media focus, let along involve in the interest conflicts between political factions and lose her emphasis and insistence on the responsibility as a legislator. What is truly respectable is that under the open-minded family education, all children in her family can still insist on correct values and remain optimistic and dauntless at their position even in the face of adversity.
4. Quality Legislator, Never Changed
With a background in education, Shiuchu is passionate about education, and thus, in addition to important agendas concerning national development, she focuses more on such agendas as education, culture and health and benefits and interests of women, teenagers and minority groups. An example in this regard is that Shiuchu has spared no pains to advocate the implementation of the following programs: education reform, teacher cultivation, teacher welfare, school dropouts, child abuse, separation of prescribing & dispensing, National Health Insurance and culture and innovation to improve the life and benefit of the people. Therefore, Shiuchu has been ranked as top five legislators in terms of legislative performance and in public polls and highly approved by the domestic education advocacy groups and arts and culture advocacy groups and rated the first of Excellent Congressional Legislator and Top Member of Education and Culture Committee by the Business Week (December 2007 issue).
The approval and trust that her voters have for Shiuchu are her largest political assets, and hence, Shiuchu was able to gain public recognition with her honest and uncorrupted image and be reelected a number of times based on her policy enquiring performance. The image of a quality legislator and outspoken personality with high integrity, as well as the perception as an advocator of the reforming power within the KMT are the key reasons that Shiuchu was elected legislator-at-large three times in a row. As a member in the congress and legislator of the ruling party, Shiuchu not only is an excellent policy defender to supervise and balance different factions and across parties, but also has set an objective example of legislative style to pursue interests for the country. During the eight years of the DPP regime, the sharp legislative enquiring style and auditing skills made Shiuchu the top warrior of the KMT. On August 14, 2000, Shiuchu also revealed the oversea money laundering account of the former president Shuibian Chen and unveiled his bribery and corruption scandal. Her professional, brave, and skillful image makes her both an impressive legislator and respectful and intimidating opponent for the DPP.
The sharp and humorous debate talents and agile responses that Shiuchu has thrived on are unparalleled in congress and are the key reason that Shiuchu frequently participated in policy debates on behalf of the KMT and assisted in campaign rallies to affirm her irreplaceable elite status in the KMT. Furthermore, as supported by her peers, Shiuchu was selected the first female Vice President of the Legislative Yuan in the constitutional history of the Republic of China. Grateful for the support and trust with reverence and awe on the huge responsibility entrusted to her, Shiuchu expects to wholeheartedly assist the President of the Legislative Yuan.
From the fierce Little Chili Pepper to the Vice President hosting conference sessions at the Legislative Yuan, Shiuchu will emphasize on her role as a the Vice President and assistant to President Wang to coordinate legislators for the interest of the people and repay the support and trust that others have for her.
Coming out of the shadow as a victim of political prosecution, turning from a children loving teacher with passion in education to a KMT member, focusing on public services, a member in congress with professional image and objective insistence and finally to the first female Vice President of the Legislative Yuan in the constitutional history of the Republic of China after she was elected the legislator eight terms in a row, Shiuchu is truly remarkable with her unparalleled manner and dedication to her career. Shiuchu will remain accountable and reliable and continue her rational, refreshing and objective legislative style to serve the people of Taiwan and set a new congressional example with her rational and refreshing image.