Peering down the rabbit hole
These days, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has been unusually quiet after having his ears boxed by Beijing, which succeed in having 14 Taiwanese deported by the Philippines to China to face trial for allegedly scamming millions of US dollars from a bunch of Chinese officials.
Prior to this, Ma’s government let Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao (陳光標) roam freely around the nation to shower money at whoever buttonholed him and his entourage for help. This attracted not only throngs of people pleading and begging for money wherever Chen went, but also inordinate media attention. Taiwan was turned into a beggarly state overnight.
These two events suggest that Beijing has lost its patience and no longer cares about Ma’s bid for re-election next year.
The unlawful removal of the Taiwanese to China has sent Ma’s regime into a political abyss and gripped it with muted panic. It is Beijing’s vote of no confidence.
Chen’s political taunting veiled in philanthropist garb was merely a prelude to a well-choreographed agenda to embarrass and discredit Ma. (Remember: Chen is a nationalist and a communist who has pledged on more than one occasion that he would give up all he has for the cause of the Chinese Communist Party).
These events signal overtly that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) ought to reconsider Ma’s chances for its next presidential bid and that an internal political uprising is OK. This is probably the main content of the curds that Ma is now quietly chewing.
Ma figured that something needed to be done to appease Beijing. This explains the surprise move made by former Department of Health minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) to sue a Talking Show host and the show’s guests on his last day in office.
Ma and his buddy-strategist, former KMT secretary-general King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), certainly know that this action will endanger the KMT’s bid for the majority of seats in the next legislative elections.
Think, what would those millions of viewers, who live and breathe by the show, do if it is taken off the air?
Think again, what would the KMT legislators do when they figure out that Ma has signed their political death warrant?
Doesn’t Ma know that Taiwan does not have a political infrastructure that can clamp down on freedom of speech at his will?
However, do not watch the whole drama with an indifferent eye.
I want to put forward to Ma his own maxim that “crisis is opportunity.” He’ll fare better by abiding by it, digging in and sitting tight in front of his “China” tree that housed the rabbit hole, vigilantly watching for the rabbits-of-goodwill from Beijing to pop out.
Anyway, what’s there to lose? It is an “either or” thing for Ma after the Year of the Rabbit. By then, he will either remain a hogtied political figure and render himself even more useful to Beijing or be liberated.
Salt Lake City, Utah