Dear Mr Soo,
I have been all about debates which were stirred up by Lung Ying-Tai's BIG RIVER BIG SEA - on and off.
When I first noticed on You Tube 4 years ago in 2009, that Lung had just written a book named BIG RIVER BIG SEA, I was not sure if I should try to buy it, because 12 years ago after having read one of her articles about why she could not swim, which she blamed the reason that during her childhood, all of Taiwan's coastlines were forbidden for swimming, and so, she never managed to learn how to swim. I felt this was not the truth, because I was born in the same year and I used to swim in southern Taiwan sea (Gaoshiung and Kenting), and swimming in the sea was my whole family's favourite sports in those days. I therefore emailed Lung at her designated address in Hong Kong City Polytechnic College, letting her know that her childhood experience was not every Taiwan child's in those days. Bus she never replied, even though I emailed her for the second time, reminding her that it was important that Taiwan's true history should not be mis-shaped in her writing to the West. Well, 2 years ago, I was shocked to discovered that Lung had given talks and lectures in Canada and USA, telling her Western audiences that the reason she had never learned to swim was because Taiwan's coastlines in her childhood were all military zones and no-one was allowed to swim in the sea ! I therefore could not bring myself to buy her BIG RIVER BIG SEA book, because I had no idea just how truthful her stories would be, if she had ignored my genuine truth from my childhood in Taiwan - and I am not even from the KMT background but a local Taiwan girl ! This year, Lung came to the UK to give talks in London and Cambridge, and before her talks, I contacted the organizer, asking them to remind Lung, not to tell her UK audiences that same old untruthful story about Taiwan coastlines again. She obviously did not tell that same untruthful story again as the result of my urgent email. But, till today, after my 3 letters to her at Taiwan's Ministry of Culture, gently requesting her to edit those You Tube videos in which she told that untruthful story to her Western audiences, yet those videos still were there, Lung continued ignoring my urge to edit them or remove those untruthful parts.
My experience as Lung's reader has so far made me feel that probably Li Au's accusation about Lung's not telling the truth might be quite creditable, as that part of the history was before I was born, and I could not comment on that. But I have since lost my trust in Lung for being a sincere honest writer, not to even mention how she could be trusted as a Cultural Minister in Taiwan today !
If you would like the evidence of what I said - about Taiwan's coastlines in my childhood (I was born in the same year as Lung, un 1952), I could send you some photos from my school days on the beach with my whole school-mates as our school trip to prove to you, that Lung's story was not truth.
Mrs Su Beckett
22:30 UK time Wednesday 09 Oct 2013
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello again Mr Soo,
Apologies for some of my spell-errors !
Su Beckett again
22:36 UK time Wednesday 09 Oct 2013