On Tuesday last week, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigation Division (SID) released the report of its investigation into the Yu Chang Biologics Co, now known as TaiMed Biologics, case. This was the case in which former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was accused of wrongdoing, allegations that may well have affected the outcome of the presidential election earlier this year. The findings of the investigation — that there was no legal case to answer — come as no surprise. Unfortunately, even though this helps Tsai clear her name, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) remains in office. Taiwanese democracy clearly still has some way to go.
Ma was floundering in the last stages of his re-election campaign, and the entire party-state apparatus was mobilized over the Yu Chang case. Executive neutrality was effectively abandoned, in a way reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution in China. Tsai and numerous academics were thrown to the lions. And so it was that Ma, who had presided over a first term marred with all manner of broken campaign promises, secured a second term. If the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) continues this sort of behavior in future presidential elections, it does not bode well for Taiwanese democracy.
Now that it has been established that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Tsai in the Yu Chang case, the DPP have criticized individuals such as Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and his wife, Tsai Ling-yi (蔡令怡), then-Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) minister Christina Liu (劉憶如), KMT Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑), Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) and KMT Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ju (賴素如) for their attacks on Tsai over the case and for failing to retract their accusations when the original allegations were found to be baseless.
The KMT believes that trashing the reputation of its political opponents is fair currency when it comes to holding on to power, and the people making the accusations continue with impunity after they have been handed electoral victory. The party, incompetent in power and guilty of selling Taiwan out, continues to talk of social justice, but it is all about manipulation.
Liu is clearly a case in point. During the presidential campaign, when the global economy was going from bad to worse and the governments of countries all over the world were grappling with the causes, trying to make sure their own economies did not get dragged into the mire, Liu, in her capacity as CEPD minister, chose to concentrate instead on the Yu Chang case. She even resorted to proffering doctored documents as “evidence” to implicate Tsai, although she refused to concede any wrongdoing of her own when these documents were revealed to be forgeries.
Her hard work did not go unrewarded, and when the dust had settled from the election, she was handed the post of minister of finance. Who knows if karma was at work: Soon after this, she was forced to stand down over her handling of the introduction of the unpopular capital gains tax on securities transactions. Ma entirely failed to stand by her. It is not clear whether Liu had simply already served her purpose, and her services were no longer required, but the whole affair was another serious blow to democracy in this country.