I believe the reviewer of the film Australia (“Schlock on the barbie,” Dec. 26, page 16) is factually wrong about the removal of Aboriginal children. According to my knowledge, only mixed-blood children were stolen “to breed the color out” of Aborigines. It was assumed at a conference of Australian governments in 1937 that the “full-blood” Aborigines would just die out. Most of the stolen children have horrific stories to tell of sexual abuse, exploitation and blighted lives to this day. Aboriginal leaders say that conference laid down a policy aimed at annihilating the race.
The minutes of that conference are available at sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/minutes-1937-breed-colour-out-conference.
Apples and oranges
If you want to compare two things, you have to be sure that the two things are of the same nature to lead to a correct result for reference.
Thus, I find Trace Gomez’s conclusion odd (Letters, Dec. 23, page 8). He compared two things; one is former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) case and the other is KMT policy. The former is about principles of criminal law and their application to one person, and the latter is about a policy that risks the loss of sovereignty for the entire nation. Although Mr Gomez’s English is fluent enough to convey the conclusion that “This attitude is why the DPP is no longer in power,” fluency cannot make up for the fundamental flaw in reasoning that comes from comparing two things that are different in nature.
I am writing in regard to your article about a new anti-smoking policy to be implemented next year (“S.H.E, John Tung join efforts to promote smoke-free environment,” Dec. 2, page 2). In fact, smoking has been banned in public places in Taiwan since 2000. Violators are fined according to the law. This anti-smoking policy protects us from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke.
Although some people say the new policy is too strict, I think it is still necessary. We are aware that smoking and the toxic substances in cigarettes have been proven to cause many fatal diseases such as cancer, heart problems and lung disease. We also know that smoking has a great influence not only on the smokers themselves, but also on non-smokers around them.
It is said that smoking takes the lives of millions of people around the world every year. In short, the government is supposed to shoulder the responsibility of informing the public of the dangers of smoking and more strictly enforcing its anti-smoking laws.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) recently convened and presided over a meeting of senior government officials, party elders and powerful corporate financiers. At this meeting, the members of this “elite” clique discussed their plan to redraw the borders of counties and municipalities in Taiwan, which would entail the redrawing of electoral districts as well as the reallocation of financial resources.
Such a redistribution of electoral constituency boundaries is known as “gerrymandering.” The tactic of gerrymandering almost invariably favors the ruling incumbent and the ruling political party. In some nations, gerrymandering involves the manipulative reapportioning of the electorate along socioeconomic and ethnic lines. Gerrymandering never occurs by chance; it is a ploy and tactic employed to give the advantage to one political party over another. It is a ploy that is orchestrated to “stack the electoral deck” in favor of one political party over another.
Ma’s was a hastily convened meeting, and one that was open only to a small and select clique. This meeting lacked any general public debate. The people of Taiwan were not invited, and there is a specific reason for their exclusion. That such a meeting took place should be cause for great alarm in Taiwan.
A tiger can no more lose its stripes than a leopard can lose its spots. The KMT will never change. The KMT has returned to its classic modus operandi in which all power is concentrated in, and limited to, a very small factional cadre or ruling clique. This cadre is dead set on its own agenda, and it tolerates no debate, not to mention dissent.
The plan of this KMT cadre is self-evident and thus should be obvious to everyone. There is no way in hell that the KMT will ever agree to return to its prior position as opposition party; it will never allow the DPP (or any other political party) to become the ruling party again.
I hope to God that I am wrong, but it is my fear that this year’s presidential election will prove to be the last truly free election in Taiwan’s history. It is my fear that the 2012 election will be so rigged that it will be a sham. After the sham election in 2012, Beijing will be calling all the shots. After the 2012 election, China will be in the position where it will be able to make both economic and political demands on Taiwan. Within a few years of the 2012 election, Taiwan will have effectively undergone an anschluss — a political annexation.
East Hartford, Connecticut
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