Such a monolithic “they” you posit. Opposition to hanyu pinyin, however, is not nearly as widespread as many believe.
Since Chen Shui-bian became president, Minister of Education Ovid Tzeng, who is very well qualified when it comes to linguistics, came out for hanyu pinyin. Shortly thereafter, he was out of office, a lesson not lost on those working for or wishing to work for the government. The new minister, who is nowhere in Tzeng’s league in linguistics, promptly announced support for tongyong.
The 26-member Mandarin Promotion Committee had just 10 votes in favor of tongyong, and even some of those were made with less than wholehearted support. Others sat on their hands or stayed home, because it was clear that opposition to the program would cost them dearly. This is especially noteworthy given that the committee was basically a stacked deck.
Among those allowed to vote were those who had helped create the system; they did not recuse themselves.
Plenty of people, even within the DPP, are opposed to tongyong. Many if not most favor hanyu pinyin, as a practical matter. But for now they’ll only say so in private.
Other than for personal names, it’s gone, and it’s never coming back. And given what a complete SNAFU Taiwan has made of it, we’re lucky to be rid of it.[/quote]
Cranky took his vitamins today! All of these points make sense except the ones about Ovid Tzeng – I’m pretty sure that he is pro-Tongyong and is posting on forumosa under the name Hobart.