Wed, Nov 12, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Time to come clean, Mr. Soong

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Ching-fang (張清芳) has come under attack in recent days for accusing People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) of having an affair. Legislators from both the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the PFP launched a vigorous offensive against Chang and demanded that he back up his accusation with evidence. For two days, the legislature descended into chaos and the work of reviewing bills was put aside.

Taiwanese ought not be fooled by the double standards of KMT and PFP legislators, who are trying to divert attention from concern over Soong's integrity. On Sunday, Soong accused President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of giving US$1 million to the family of US President George W. Bush as a payoff for the high-level contacts he made during his recent stopover in New York.

We would ask Soong: where is your evidence of this bribe? Will you provide it? When?

Taiwanese still remember an accusation made by former New Party legislator Elmer Fung (馮滬祥), who said former first lady Tseng Wen-hui (曾文惠) "attempted to flee" to the US and take US$85 million with her. Fung's claims were proven to be garbage. Does Soong want to be in the same dismal category as Fung? Soong and his PFP colleagues should follow the standards they set for others and provide evidence of the US$1 million that Chen allegedly paid to the Bush family.

Soong's accusation is troubling because, as Presidential Office Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) and presidential aide James Huang (黃志芳) pointed out, Soong's remarks could have serious international consequences for Taiwan. As is common knowledge, the strength of Taiwan-US relations has long been one of the reasons why Taiwan has been able to resist China's military threat. Taiwan's government and people should take a dim view of any action that damages US-Taiwan relations, whether unwittingly or deliberately. Because Taiwan-US relations are inseparable from the issue of Taiwan's survival, they are far more important than the reputations of Soong and his secretary Yang Yun-tai (楊雲黛). Therefore, there is an urgent need for the people of Taiwan to learn the truth about any attempt to humiliate the first family of the US. No personal scandal can compare with this.

If KMT and PFP legislators really love Taiwan more than they do power, they should demand Soong produce evidence of the payoff. The recent theatrics of KMT and PFP lawmakers were merely the same tired attempts to divert media and public attention.

Soong has denounced the VCD entitled Special Report which lampooned him as "low-class," and announced it to be an act of campaign muckraking by President Chen. We hope that Soong will disclose whatever evidence he has to back up this and every other one of his accusations so that the public might have the opportunity to bring the president to task if he was involved in any such wrongdoing.

If not, then the only reasonable deduction that could be made is that Soong is a liar, and that his cycle of lies may cost him dearly in next year's election.

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