Wed, Feb 04, 2009 - Page 8 News List


Taiwan’s ‘Watergate’?

On Jan. 8, former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) vowed to present documentation in regard to the allegation that she possesses dual nationality. She claims to have documentation that exonerates her of these charges. She vowed to present this documentation to the legislature before the end of January.

Also on Jan. 8, KMT Chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) was quoted as saying: “If someone cannot produce the evidence before the deadline, the KMT will ask the legislature to tackle the matter in a speedy manner.”

The deadline has now passed. So far, Lee has made no further public announcements regarding her case. There has been no public announcement that she has produced — or would be able to produce — documentation that explains the case in her favor.

Let us hope that Wu was sincere in his statement. Let us hope there will be a speedy inquiry into the matter. After all, as the saying goes: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Let us hope as well that this case does not turn into “Passportgate” — Taiwan’s equivalent of the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.

A cursory analysis of the Watergate scandal shows that former US president Richard Nixon’s “fall” — his resignation from office — was compelled by his attempts at covering up break-ins and illegal wiretaps.

There is much to be learned from this precedent. If there is an attempted cover-up in Lee’s case, it will only compound the problem and worsen the situation in Taiwan. This is a serious matter that no one will be able to “sweep under the rug.”


East Hartford, Connecticut

Democratic health check

Democracy reflects the best human values in society. People all over the world should care about the democratic status of each other’s countries, just as neighbors should take care of each other. The third open letter (“Eroding Justice,” Jan. 21, page 8) is welcome by all Taiwanese who embrace those values.

The interference by and the unprofessional conduct of Justice Minister Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) and the prosecutors who performed a skit mocking former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and expressed their prejudice against him, added to the daily attacks by KMT-controlled media and the questionable replacement of judges, mean that any result emerging from Chen’s trial will be hard to accept. This is just like school exams; when the system of examination is deficient or unfair, the results will be questionable.

Only continued concern — in Taiwan and abroad — can lead to change and ensure that Taiwan becomes a symbol of freedom and democracy.



Wrong on the economy

The Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration’s efforts to “rescue” Taiwan’s economy will not only fail, but they exemplify a collectivist morality and ought to be vigorously opposed.

The government’s attempt to engineer domestic consumer demand in response to dropping consumer demand abroad is misguided. As the supply side of the economy currently outweighs the demand side, it is the supply side that should be allowed to fall, not demand artificially created by means of public debt.

What your publication should seek to explain is not merely one of economic pragmatism, but a moral one. Each and every Taiwanese is a sovereign individual — not a mere economic number — and as such they should be free to make their own choices as to whether and how to spend or invest their money.

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