Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Letter

Vote wisely, vote DPP

Even as a Singaporean, I share the sentiments of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) when he stated that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) have never stopped inciting chaos in Taiwan since they lost the elections in 2000 and this year ("Number of elections should be reduced, President Chen says," Nov. 30, page 3).

Based on the actions and behavior of Lien and Soong since March 20, when they again lost the presidential election to Chen, I have no doubts that both men still harbor the ambition of becoming president in 2008. And that is indeed a shame, for both men's blind and selfish desire, or should I say egoistic wish, to become president has resulted in them preventing other, younger leaders such as Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) from seeking a ticket for the presidential election.

Both Lien and Soong are already in their 60s, and instead of planning for leadership renewal in their respective parties, they instead shamelessly sought to consolidate their power. And this despite Taiwanese voters having rejected both men at the presidential polls in 2000 and this year. Are they seeking a hat-trick of rejections by the voters in the 2008 presidential election? Surely such an "achievement" would warrant a place in the Guinness Book of World of Records?

As a concerned observer and friend of Taiwan, I am happy with Chen's election victory on March 20. However, the decision by the majority of voters to choose Chen as their leader for the next four years is but half a step forward to safeguard the interests and sovereignty of Taiwan. The other half-step would be taken when the voters elect a majority of DPP candidates in the legislative elections.

A reason why US President George W. Bush was able to gain support from Americans for his foreign policies over the past four years was mainly because he enjoyed the Republicans' strong support in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Similarly, Chen requires the support of his DPP legislative colleagues to push for more reforms for Taiwan, which could only result in a better and more democratic and prosperous Taiwan four years down the road.

Given the exposed nature and character of both Lien and Soong, a non-DPP majority in the legislature will only result in the KMT-PFP legislators working together to sabotage the policies which Chen may intend to adopt over the next four years. Lien and Soong should learn a lesson or two about grace and humility from US Senator John Kerry, who conceded defeat to Bush within hours of the election results being released and even pledged to work together with Bush to unify the US. On the other hand, Lien and Soong sought to further divide Taiwan after their election defeats. A further divided Taiwan would only please communist China, and as such, we can deduce whose interests Lien and Soong are indeed seeking to further.

Taiwanese voters must be convinced that Chen is the right man to lead the nation of 23 million citizens forward. The voters' choice of Chen in 2000 and this year are two steps forward, but should the DPP fail to win a majority in the coming legislative election, that would be two steps backward. Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen have both worked hard and courageously to build a Taiwanese individual identity, with Taiwan as a sovereign nation.

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