Since the devastating defeat of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in last year’s nine-in-one local elections, the people of Taiwan have experienced a system reboot and have been reborn as Taiwanese.
These new citizens no longer allow others to decide their destiny for them, nor do they allow inept, irresponsible and incompetent administrations and politicians, or greedy and heartless consortiums to control the welfare of all or kill off the future of the nation’s youth.
They have also stopped allowing the KMT to team up with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and rich and powerful families on both sides of the strait to distort Taiwan’s democracy, thereby burying the nation’s future.
Simply put, these new citizens want to rebuild fairness and justice in Taiwan, whereas internationally, they want to restore the nation’s status and dignity.
In this new political climate, the nation has seen an increase in critical and angry citizens. For the past two months, I have seen and heard the self-reflections of citizens thinking about their long-time tolerance of exploitative administrations and politicians and their avarice for the temporary “bonus” from economic exchanges with China, which almost destroyed Taiwan’s national destiny and democratic future.
Hence, I have seen a new civic awareness this year, one of increasing self-reflection and one that questions the authorities.
The first target of this new civic awareness is the KMT, the ruling party that has lost public support precisely because it is in power. The targets of citizens’ queries are four political organs that are directly related to the KMT: the president and the premier, the KMT chairman, the KMT legislative caucus and the KMT councilors in local governments.
If the outcome of the nine-in-one local elections is evidence that the KMT has given up nearly every reform opportunity and has abased itself following its return to power in 2008, then what we should be looking into is whether the aforementioned four KMT organs over the past two months have reflected upon their mistakes and made the necessary corrections and, if they have done so, whether this would present an opportunity for reform.
Although some critics say that the KMT will reform when pigs can fly, the issue should be looked at based on facts.
First, have the incumbent president and premier displayed any intent at all to engage in reform? When Ma resigned as KMT chairman, this was not a matter of reform, but merely an apology. When Ma, during his New Year’s Day address — one month after the elections — talked about reconciliation, collaboration and peace, saying that this was his request and declaration to the Taiwanese people, the words may have sounded promising.
However, it was all insincere and flat, and did not display any determination for reform. His talk about “social reconciliation” is just empty talk, his talk about “collaboration between the ruling and the opposition parties” is merely a matter of paying lip service, and his talk about “cross-strait peace” sounds even more helpless.
On the matter of the food safety crisis, Ma has not displayed any resolve to hold Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團) responsible.
On matters of collusion between government and industry in many projects in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Greater Taoyuan and Greater Taichung, the government has showed no sign of engaging in self-examination or offering any clarification, except for letting former KMT city mayors or the president’s lawyer friends point the finger and say that it is all a witchhunt and an attempt at score-settling with the previous government.