In which case this is really a case of tax evasion — and he’s got a lot of explaining to do to presidential wannabe Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) as to why he didn’t use more of this dough to help poor ol’ Frankie’s lackluster campaign.
But we Taiwanese can be forgiven if we don’t quite buy the “leftovers” line. In fact, this explanation goes down about as well as a few liters of that vile beer-flavored green tea they’re hawking on TV these days (the creator of which will surely join the inventor of taike Doritos in a special circle of hell).
And A-bian himself? Let’s just say he’s now got all the credibility of US politician John Edwards banging on about marital fidelity.
Meanwhile, A-bian’s lawyer, Wellington Koo (顧立雄) has apparently had enough. He told the press that he terminated his contract with A-bian, but at least he had the class (very rare on this isle) not to trash-talk his former client.
That will come later, in a Next Magazine interview.
• The former first lady’s brother admitted he’d used “underground” banks to send some money abroad for his sis. After all, what are brothers for?
• A-bian’s daughter had a massive, shrieking meltdown in front of the national TV news media, all of which was given excruciating, repeated play on local stations.
• A-bian’s son was a no-show at his University of Virginia law school orientation, perhaps realizing he could get a far better education in law by helping defend his family rather than living in a boring old Charlottesville library.
• And the former first lady’s sister-in-law “passed out” during questioning, thereby avoiding having to add anything helpful to the investigation.
Is this my country’s politics, or a bad reality TV show?
Clearly, our own political Harry Houdini is running out of escape strategies. So, with thanks to A-bian for the many years of entertainment he’s provided, and as a helping hand (since everyone else, including his lawyer, has ditched him in embarrassment), here are a few more excuses for baffling investigators and the public.
They are provided as a pro bono public service to allow him a few months of liberty — before he starts decorating his jail cell.
To: Chen Shui-bian
From: Dr Johnny Neihu IV
Subject: Emergency excuse list for why your family wired abroad more than US$20 million on the sly
Date: Aug. 23, 2008
To be carried at all times, and referred to when cornered in public by reporters:
1. I was merely testing the effectiveness and reaction time of stricter money laundering procedures in the wake of Sept. 11 as a service to Taiwan’s dear ally, the US. Good job, guys!
2. I was merely testing the strength of Taiwan’s corruption laws and measures. Grade: D minus.
3. I misread the wire form, thinking I was sending money to “Sanchong-land,” not “Switzerland.”
4. The money was part of an ultra-secret diplomatic ploy to win recognition from Switzerland. Next target: Liechtenstein.
5. Ditto Singapore — and the Cayman Islands.
6. I was planning to buy festive, colorful “Swatch” watches for every single Taiwanese child.
7. I was planning to buy festive, colorful “Swatch” watches for every single seriously disabled Taiwanese person.
8. I was planning to buy high-grade Swiss chocolate bars, Ricola cough drops and some of those horns they use on mountaintops in Ricola advertisements for every single Taiwanese child and seriously disabled person.