Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Promote real reform for Taiwan

By Jerome Keating

None of Taiwan's sunshine reformers want to tackle that reality.

Where have all the supporting politicians like People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) gone?

Soong joined Shih and then ran for and lost Taipei's mayorship. Soong is checking up on his property in the US. He was not dedicated to reform.

Where are all the sages of Academia Sinica and the literary figures that weighed in on the depose Chen debate? They are suddenly silent.

Have they weighed in on any of the other convicted or accused corruption cases in this country?

Not quite -- those cases are nitty-gritty reform cases that demand a lot of work with little exposure to the limelight.

There is no question that Taiwan needs reform of both political camps.

There is also no question that Taiwan's governmental system is in desperate need of reform.

With the approach of the legislative elections in December, sincere reform must be a critical factor in evaluating and selecting candidates.

In the coming year, Taiwan must assess what true reform is.

While it does that, let me make a few related predictions for this year. Only time will tell if my predictions are correct.

We will never see true accountability of the sources that donated money to Shih's protest campaign.

We will never see full accountability for the expenditure of the NT$40 million to NT$50 million remaining in that fund either. The records for expenditure of the first NT$60 million were vague.

The KMT's stolen assets that Ma promised in 2005 would be sold will not all have been sold by the end of this year.

The money from whatever assets the KMT does manage to sell off will -- like the previous sales -- never be returned to the public.

The money will be used to pay off the KMT's bills or fund Ma's presidential campaign.

The media will continue to avoid doing its job.

It will neither push for true reform across the board nor will it seek to find out answers to questions like where Shih's campain money came from and where it went.

Jerome Keating is a writer based in Taiwan.

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