Tue, May 08, 2012 - Page 8 News List


Not constitutionally right

Article 1 of the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution clearly states: “The Republic of China, founded on the Three Principles of the People, shall be a democratic republic of the people, to be governed by the people and for the people.”

This article has been invalidated at least in practice.

First, the ROC is no longer a republic, but “one of the two areas of China,” as declared by former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄). With this declaration, the ROC is not “of the people” of Taiwan or vice versa. The first principle is lost, although most Taiwanese are against unification with Beijing.

When President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was justice minister, he strongly opposed the idea of direct elections for the president “by the people,” as embodied in the second principle. However, Ma declared his candidacy for the 2008 presidential election “to show his cleanliness” and immediately after he was accused of pocketing Taipei City funds. He does not mind the Chinese calling him “mister” instead of “president.” Taiwanese doubt they will have elections in 2016.

The third principle, “for the people” — or people’s livelihood — has been ruined in many aspects.

The so-called Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has decreased Taiwanese exports to China by 9.7 percent in the first quarter this year compared with the same quarter last year. Taiwan Power Co has built a high-voltage transmission line, which will soon begin operating in Changhua County over farmlands and farmhouses in spite of farmers’ long-term protests against health hazards and land devaluation. Homeowners in Taipei were forcefully removed from their property for the construction of a high-rise residential building, while electricity rates, gasoline prices and tuition will go up. US beef containing the animal feed additive ractopamine will be imported.

Finally, vice president-elect Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) considers “leave of absence without pay” to be a Nobel Prize winning idea for solving unemployment. Ma even asked: “Did you buy a second lunchbox?” when a poor college student complained about the portion of a NT$60 lunchbox.

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

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