Compare these officials to Ma who, talking about impeaching former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), controversially said “the gun is loaded and ready, it’s just a matter of when to pull the trigger, and Chen is going to die horribly.” Ma likes to trot out the adage “do not wrongly accuse the innocent, and do not tolerate the guilty” — the emphasis being on the first part, which he only seems to want to apply when criminal prosecutions are brought against his own people.
If Ma was truly as clean and committed to justice as he says he is, he should have acted the minute the Hung story broke, and made sure those involved could not collude or destroy the evidence. This is how he could have demonstrated his resolve, and made criminals think twice before acting.
The government’s penchant for opaque governance is the result of the incomplete dismantling of the authoritarian system under which Taiwan previously labored.
Why insist on this lack of transparency?
Look no further than Confucius (孔子), who said: “The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it.”
The longer the cover-up continues, the more Ma’s image, and that of his government, suffers. Three-quarters of the public say they have no faith in the military investigation.
After Transparency International released its Global Corruption Barometer findings, announcing Taiwan’s poor global ranking, a poll conducted by the Apple Daily soon after found that 41 percent of respondents believed the judiciary to be the most corrupt part of the government.
It is difficult to see how the judiciary and the military are going to win back the trust of the general public.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Paul Cooper