On 28 March, a four-year-old Taiwanese girl was brutally beheaded in broad daylight as she was on her bicycle with her mother following close behind.
Among calls from the Taiwanese public for the harsh punishment for the killer, a 33-year-old man named Wang Ching-yu, Taiwanese president-elect Tsai Ing-Wen has also come forward to speak about the incident.
In a Facebook post published on 29 March, Ms Tsai addressed the victim’s mother, Ms Claire Wang and expressed her condolences. In Ms Tsai letter, she praised the strength of Ms Wang in this difficult time for the family.
Ms Wang herself had published a post on Facebook earlier that day, expressing her love for her daughter. She also emphasised the happiness of her daughter’s short life and advised readers to “please keep trusting people because society is still beautiful.”
The man who carried out the beheading had a history of previous arrests for drug related crimes. It was also reported that he had sought medical treatment for mental illness in the past.
In her letter, Ms Tsai placed emphasis on ensuring a safety net for people in positions similar to the killer’s, where the prevention of the abuse of narcotics and the provision of help for mental health issues be at the forefront to ensure such incidents do not occur again. She states that she hopes to see actions taken to improve social issues such as mental health as well as public security.
Her response suggests the need to target the root of the problem, as compared to the Taiwanese public’s strong calls for harsher punishments for the murderer, including calls for capital punishment.
Ms Tsai left flowers and a pair of stuffed bunnies at the site of incident and posted on her facebook saying, “Little lightbulb (nickname for the four-year-old girl), auntie (referring to herself) will not let your sacrifice go to waste, this society has a lot of broken holes, I will use all my effort to patch them up.”