The old and withering Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is falling apart, so much so that even a relatively young party member like former Cabinet secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) has apparently shown himself to be corrupt.
Some say the recent revelations are a sign of what is to come, while others have hurriedly distanced themselves from Lin’s appointment and called meetings of politically appointed officials to tell them that officials cannot be “bad guys.” This crisis offers an excellent opportunity to push for positive change, they say.
Even kindergarten children know that it is wrong to take things that do not belong to you. If politically appointed officials need to reminded of this they are not fit to hold public office and should have resigned long ago.
Unfortunately, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) seems to think this is all just a game. KMT bigwigs are trying to shift attention away from what is really going on, in the mistaken belief that they can use the lessons of the Lin case to keep the KMT alive.
Those who really care about Taiwan need to take this opportunity to change the nation for the better, by demanding that the following steps be taken:
First, Ma must not only allow the prosecutors to investigate the Lin case wherever the evidence leads, he should also encourage the public and government employees to report corruption whenever and wherever they encounter it.
It is also imperative that an investigation is started into the KMT’s “black gold” faction, because only such an approach can rid Taiwanese politics of corruption once and for all.
Second, Lin should stop pretending to be a good guy, make a genuine effort to repent and hand over the names of his accomplices to the authorities.
Given that Lin is already politically dead, by honestly revealing what he knows about how the larger political system operates to the judiciary, he could still play an important role in putting an end to black gold politics.
Furthermore, businesses that are no longer willing to be shaken down by politicians need to stand up and blow the whistle on corruption. This would have the added benefit of allowing Taiwanese businesses to compete in a free and just environment without having to pay bribes for special privileges.
Finally, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division and the entire judicial system should insist on being independent, uphold fairness and justice and get on with the business of thoroughly investigating its cases.
Ma is incompetent and hypocritical and if he wants to dispel chaos and restore order to Taiwan, the nation needs judicial personnel to be morally upright and to have an unshakable sense of right and wrong as they carry out their role as guardians of justice.
The KMT has long turned a blind eye to corruption as a way of maintaining its hold on power, with its internal factions dividing up the booty from their black gold schemes the norm.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese have been tricked into thinking such behavior is normal and unavoidable.
Ma’s talk about “reform” and eliminating black gold politics is just him playing to the gallery. A dictator is never going to undermine his own power by getting rid of those right-hand men who flatter him and cater to his every wish.
The best hope Taiwan has to turn things around lies in the judiciary capitalizing on this opportunity to eradicate the corruption that is an endemic part of the KMT. Such action would lay the foundation for a new kind of politics in Taiwan.