Wed, Jul 28, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Letter

KMT misses another chance

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) missed an opportunity to come to terms with its past. It complained that the scheduled legislative election date of Dec. 11, one day after the 25th anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident, was politically motivated to benefit the Democratic Progressive Party and harms the chances of its legislative candidates.

Therefore, it urged that the day be changed to the traditional last Saturday of November or first Saturday of December. The complaint itself is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Raising the issue focused voters' attention on the KMT's past persecution of democracy advocates, and thereby reminded voters of its unsavory past.

In this sense, the KMT and its candidates are already prejudiced. Instead of focusing on winning the election by crying foul, the KMT should use the anniversary to come clean by admitting its past mistakes while taking the initiative to disclose the truth about the White Terror era and the 228 Incident.

A willingness to confront its past, to ask voters for forgiveness and to reconcile with its past will help it win votes. Bickering won't. Objecting to the election date reflects a guilty conscience and a conscious effort to avoid past mistakes. Until the KMT understands why it has lost credibility with voters and the party takes positive steps to earn voters' trust, control of the government will remain out of its reach.

Kenneth Choy

Hong Kong

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