Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC)
[box type=”default” size=”large”]New chairman bares his views on MAPAAC task[/box]Jaime C. Hsu, Ph.D, newly appointed chairman of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC), said the commission will strive to work hard with various Asian groups in the efforts to tackle problems affecting Asian Americans in Michigan.

Doctor Hsu, who is a professor at Lawrence Tech University, was interviewed by the Filipino Star News last August 11 at the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan in Southfield. The interview was conducted at the sideline of the “Taste of Asia,” an annual cultural event hosted by the Council of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA), of which Hsu is a member of the advisory board.

Hsu, a Taiwanese who immigrated to the US in 1967, said that one concrete way MAPAAC could help Asian groups is for the commission to co-sponsor their programs and activities aimed at benefitting their members, particularly the underserved ones.

He said the task of the commission is to make sure that the programs and projects of Asian groups — such as CAPA, APACC, APIA Vote and Asian Center — are supported by the state government.

He views MAPAAC as a conduit between the state government and the Asian community in the efforts to tackle various issues such as those pertaining to health, civil rights, education, immigration and economic opportunities.

He said that MAPAAC should also promote cooperation and synergy between the state government and the Asian community.

Doctor Hsu, who migrated in 1973 to Michigan from Rhode Island as an employee of General Motors, proposed the holding of more town-hall meetings during which state officials could get feedback from Asians on issues affecting them and on how government programs aimed at addressing their problems are faring.

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He said that social problems like bullying in school could be addressed by educating parents and students, noting that most Asians are naturally shy and as much as possible do not want to complain about abuses. Through dialogues, these social issues could be tackled, he said.

He also expressed concern about the language problem of Asians, suggesting that English should be taught to them as a second language. He noted that many Asians, particularly old people, are computer-illiterate, saying there is also a need to address this problem.

Doctor Hsu was appointed last July 18 by Governor Rick Snyder as MAPAAC commissioner, replacing Sook Wilkinson.

In a statement, Wilkinson said, “It’s been my honor to have served as the chair of the commission, first appointed by Governor Granholm and then Governor Snyder. Although I’m stepping down as chair, I plan to serve out my term as a commissioner for another year.”

Hsu said he did not apply for the job, adding the Office of the Governor called him and requested him to head MAPAAC. As chairman, he will not receive any salary.

He retired from General Motors in 2004. His last position at GM was executive director for global technology. He held many senior management and corporate R&D positions at GM.