It has been almost 10 months since Ma Ying-jeou (
Compared with the crisis-torn Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), currently the KMT looks as pure as the driven snow. But upon closer inspection, events over the past few months have proved that Ma has merely been paying lip service to his campaign promises.
Ma's major pledge during the battle for the chairmanship was that he would clean up the party. And despite his "clean election" pledge and promises not to endorse candidates with black-gold convictions, the chairman has stumped for a number of questionable candidates.
During December's local election campaign, Ma seemed to steer clear of corrupt Taitung County commissioner candidate Wu Chun-li (
Now, Keelung Mayor Hsu Tsai-li (
And in the KMT's Taipei mayoral primary, during which the chairman has supposedly stayed neutral, two candidates dropped out of the race because of alleged favoritism toward Ma's protege and former deputy mayor Yeh Chin-chuan (
Turning to party assets, Ma came to power determined to rid the party of the property it gained through illegal ownership transfers during the KMT party-state era, but apart from selling one or two prominent sites for billions of NT dollars and keeping the profits, this issue has not been settled.
Conveniently for Ma, all this and the fact that his reform program has gotten nowhere is being overshadowed by the DPP's own corruption crisis.
Despite promises that it would conduct clean government, it appears the DPP is as full of people eager to fill their pockets as previous KMT regimes.
The DPP leadership could do worse than to force any members with skeletons in their closet to come clean as soon as possible, because it seems that KMT legislators like Chiu Yi (
The trickle-down effect of these scandals is just prolonging the agony and also helps to divert attention from the KMT's own shortcomings.
And as Ma and his half-hearted efforts at party reform have shown, a year is a long time in politics and the public have extremely short memories. If the DPP can make a clean break with all these allegations and start anew, there may be just enough time for it to salvage the 2008 presidential election.