The jackals and hyenas are out once again. On Saturday, the pan-blue forces took to the streets to demand that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) resign. From the March 19, 2004, assassination attempt, to the alleged use of Sogo coupons to the present scandals, the rabid crowd has demanded justice without trial.
Whether the rumors can be substantiated remains to be seen; in the past they have not. Certainly this is a matter the courts must examine. However, while we are waiting for any substantiated accusations to be brought forth let us get some perspective on the jackals and hyenas that are pursuing Chen.
A starting point is the stolen state assets that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) claimed as personal possessions because of its privileged one-party state rule over Taiwan for a half a century. These remain unreturned. Last year, after he was elected KMT chairman, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) promised to return them to the people. So far, a few have been sold off but the money went into the KMT's coffers. The jackals and hyenas remained silent.
Hsu Tsai-li (許財利), Keelung's mayor who was convicted of corruption, has not yet been disciplined by the KMT. Last year, when he was campaigning for re-election, Ma Ying-jeou supported him as the KMT's candidate. Ma stated that he was innocent till proven guilty. Now, despite facing a possible eight years in prison, Tsai remains a member in good standing of the KMT. The jackals and hyenas remained silent.
In Taitung County, Wu Chun-li (吳俊立) was convicted of corruption and barred from taking office as county commissioner. For anyone who has had to regularly hear the locals lecture on how family values are central to Confucian society and how corruption came from the West, this incident is particularly choice.
Since Wu could not appoint a spouse or relative as a stand-in, he promptly divorced his wife Kuang Li-chen (鄺麗貞) and appointed her to hold his office. This year, his ex-wife ran on the KMT ticket for the position in a by-election and won. Ma campaigned for her and justified his involvement on the grounds that it was the divorced wife and not the corrupt ex-husband that was running. However, no sooner did she win than the couple re-married. The jackals and hyenas remained silent.
As regards past instances of corruption, consider former KMT legislator Wu Tse-yuan (伍澤元) of Pingtung. After Wu was convicted of corruption, it turned out that former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) had loaned him US$1 million for election campaigns. Upon his conviction, several KMT legislators stood as guarantors for him so he could be released from prison prior to sentencing. He skipped bail, left the country and has not been seen since. The jackals and hyenas remain silent.
Return now to last Saturday's rally. What makes this particular rally of jackals and hyenas so blatantly hypocritical is its leader, People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜). Soong has never seen court for past abuses of power. As head of the Government Information Office during the White Terror period and the Kaohsiung Incident, he regularly justified the imprisonment and deaths of many under the KMT's one-party state dictatorship. Soong has not held any job or office since 1998 when he was provincial governor, yet he lives very comfortably as head of the PFP, which he founded. Many speculate that he lives off the fat of the land from his days as provincial governor.