The Yu Chang Biologics Co case which President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), his running mate, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) have used to target Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) over the past few days has backfired and left Ma, Wu and the KMT with egg on their faces because it was a poorly executed attempt at a smear campaign.
On Dec. 13, Council for Economic Planning and Development Minster Christina Liu (劉憶如), who had provided two official documents with Tsai’s signature on them, admitted that the investment information materials distributed at an investors’ conference for biotechnology company TaiMed Biologics Co provided by her to legislators the day before were incorrectly dated and that she was willing to apologize for the mistake.
Liu’s quick U-turn came about because Tsai’s team remained adamant that the information she had provided was false and that the dates listing Tsai as a principal leader of the company were clearly wrong.
Tsai’s camp also said that if Liu could not produce concrete evidence by the afternoon of Dec. 13, they would file a lawsuit against her.
Liu’s apology highlights how Tsai, while being the target of a smear attack, continues to go about her campaign in an unperturbed manner, with confidence in her own moral conduct.
This is certain to have a deep and lasting impression on how the public view Tsai’s cool-headed self-assurance.
In addition, the apology also allows voters that Ma, Wu and the KMT are presenting false information to distort the truth in an “anything goes” approach to win the election.
This is a strategy designed to disillusion even more voters about the Ma-Wu ticket. The incident further underscores recent observations implying that Ma and Wu’s campaign team and the KMT are anxious about their low approval ratings.
The way they have gone from increasing social welfare payments to smear campaigns make them appear like a drowning man clutching at straws. This impression will of course give voters an even worse impression of the Ma-Wu ticket.
Clearly, what Liu called a “confusion of dates” is a mere excuse aimed at diverting attention from the seriousness of the matter.
From the very start, the “Yu Chang smear campaign” was orchestrated by Ma, Wu and the KMT. Liu simply followed suit and provided the “damning” documents with the single purpose of finishing Tsai off with one fatal blow.
As such, Ma and Wu, who have “criticized and advised” Tsai during the controversy, owe both her and the public an apology for their unconscionable behavior.
It should also be investigated how involved they have been behind the scenes. In the beginning, Ma and Wu’s campaign team were happy to go after Tsai, and their plan was to benefit from the scandal, while pretending it had nothing to do with them. However, the public are more likely to believe that they were involved all along.
Luckily, during the highly sensationalized “Yu Chang smear campaign,” Tsai’s camp remained cool-headed and rose to the challenge. As a result, the truth of the matter came out quickly and any danger to her campaign was avoided.
However, let us suppose for a moment that the smear campaign happened just a few days before polling day. In that case Tsai’s camp would not have had time to clarify things.