Sat, Feb 17, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Johnny Neihu's NewsWatch: Organ music and the FTA shuffle

Some trade is more free than others when it comes to global wheeling and dealing, but at least you can be sure that your vital organs will fetch a handy sum on an unregulated market in China. And the more desperate the buyer, the better.

By Johnny Neihu 強尼內湖

While we're on the topic of business, news of a gruesome case of cross-strait trade was featured in the Falun Gong fanzine Epoch Times last week. I would advise those with a weak constitution to stop reading now.

It concerned Taiwanese businessman Tseng Wen-fang (曾文芳), a native of Kinmen, who was murdered in Xiamen on July 31 last year. In the article, Tseng's wife detailed how "when her family arrived in Xiamen to see the body at the Mashan funeral home, they found the body naked, with the head and body autopsied [sic], and the abdomen hollow and empty. The family members suspected that his organs had been stolen."

Tseng went on to describe how "thick suture threads were identified from the dissection places such as the throat, shoulder, chest and abdomen. The tracings of suture lines were found on the entire head and at the back of the head."

This gives a whole new meaning to "the hollowing out of Taiwanese business."

It doesn't mention if poor old Mr. Tseng was a Falun Gong practitioner, but there must be no faster way to ensure your pall-bearers will have an easier time of it than Chicom cadres discovering you're a card-carrying member of the "evil meditation group" that wants to take over the universe.

But even this particularly dark cloud may have a silver lining.

Apparently, Tseng was diagnosed with liver cancer back in 1997, so the rich communist cadre or heartless foreigner who may or may not have placed a cash-on-delivery order for fresh liver may have got more than he or she bargained for.

There may be a God after all.

Talking of the hallowed one, this week's column would not be complete without a word about Taiwan's very own fallen angel, the politician formerly known as clean, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman-no-longer Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who, in case you were vacationing on Pluto, was indicted on Tuesday on charges of embezzling NT$11 million (US$333,000).

Before you start crying into your cornflakes or rice porridge at the thought of the handsome one spending seven years in a cell with the president's son-in-law, spare a thought for the nation's prosecutors, whose popularity seems to go through more cycles than the Neihu household's washing machine.

In the last few months prosecutors have gone from being "tools of the administration," to "staunch defenders of the law" and now back to being "political weapon[s]."

The same cannot be said for goldenballs, who, according to polls by the United Daily News and TVBS, is even more popular than Brad Pitt in a gay bar now that prosecutors have decided to indict him.

But then these polls were carried out by the same people who said KMT Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英) was leading the Democratic Progressive Party's Chen Chu (陳菊) by between 12 and 20 percent just before December's election. And we all know what happened to him, don't we?

Endnote: Old Johnny is making use of next week's reduced edition of the Taipei Times to catch up with his extended family for a non-stop orgy of sausage barbecuing and hongbao distribution to a regiment of screaming children. I'll be back in two weeks with a column marking the 60th anniversary of the 228 Incident.

Finally, a very Happy porcine New Year to you, dear reader.

Heard or read something particularly objectionable about Taiwan? Johnny wants to know: is the place to reach me, with "Dear Johnny" in the subject line.

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