In the area of foreign affairs, diplomats like former representative to Fiji Victor Chin (秦日新), former director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City Jacqueline Liu (劉珊珊) and former representative to Singapore Vanessa Shih (史亞平) have either been involved in scandals or have generated negative publicity amd brought shame on Taiwan.
As for Ma’s favorite topic, “incorruptibility,” this has also become a joke following the scandal surrounding the pride of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) “new generation” — former Cabinet secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世). The most absurd aspect of Lin’s alleged corruption is that he is said to have been engaged in these illicit activities long before any irregularities were exposed. Still, that did not stop him from criticizing and humiliating the then-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government when he was a legislator. It is lamentable to see how a large group of Ma’s team still takes pride in making use of and distorting the DPP government’s mistakes.
As Ma no longer seeks to be re-elected, he is free from electoral pressure and is now fighting no holds barred for his place in history. Shockingly, the reforms he has been trying to push through — increasing fuel and electricity prices, reinstating a capital gains tax on securities transactions and allowing the importation of beef with ractopamine residues — have dumbfounded everyone. The capital gains tax is extortionate, as is the increase in fuel and electricity prices, and allowing the import of ractopamine-laced beef simply demonstrates a disregard for life. Ma is getting closer and closer to being written into our history books as a tyrant.
Chang Kuo-tsai is a former deputy secretary-general of the Taiwan Association of University Professors and a retired associate professor of National Hsinchu University of Education.
Translated by Perry Svensson