Voters still haven’t gone to the ballot box, but the four great losers of the Jan. 14 elections are already appearing.
The biggest loser is Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如). Holding a doctorate from the University of Chicago, she has always succeeded in everything she does. With such a good background, one wonders why she had to get involved in crooked, underhanded political attacks by attempting to frame opponents using forged documents. It is all too clear that she has ulterior motives and in an instant, she has destroyed the good reputation and goodwill she has spent a lifetime building.
Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and his wife, Tsai Ling-yi (蔡令怡), are the second-biggest losers. Wu is a liar who has a way with words that allows him to cover up mistakes. This time around he has claimed that the dates on the forged Yu Chang documents are not important. For someone who claims to be a student of history and who has worked as a reporter to say something like that is a sign of maliciousness and ill intent.
When Tsai Ling-yi made her fabricated and inflammatory statements that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had “moved NT$1.1 billion [US$36.34 million] of the nation’s money to her family business,” Wu said that “there are some grounds” for that statement, and promptly inflated the sum to NT$1.4 billion.
It is as if it were an auction of thieves: Buy one, get one free. A man who keeps telling lies with a stern, angry face clearly does not make a very good impression, and the loyal deep-blue supporters may now be longing for Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長). At least he always has a smile on his face that would not lose him any points.
The third losers are the newspapers that have taken money from President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to write reports and commentary based on the government’s advertising copy.
The government’s abuse of the executive, legislative and judicial branches and now its possible use of the Control Yuan to fabricate the Yu Chang controversy is even more vicious than the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration’s fabrication of the accusations used to frame General Sun Li-jen (孫立人) when he became too powerful in the 1950s and political dissident Lei Chen (雷震) in the 1960s.
These newspapers care nothing for the principles of neutrality and objectivity. They have sold their souls and destroyed their credibility and the value of their own existence.
The fourth loser is the Special Investigation Division (SID). The division sat idly by and watched while Ma and his government were suspected of illegal activities and abuse of power without investigating the claims, in effect turning the division into a political tool to destroy judicial neutrality.
Just as everyone was utterly baffled when Ma started telling stories about how he mends his clothes and resoles his shoes to show how thrifty he is, I don’t think anyone could have ever dreamed that he would be relying on such people to win re-election.
James Wang is a media commentator.
Translated by Perry Svensson