The buck stops there with Ma
In response to questions about the MeHAS City and Taipei Dome projects initiated by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) when he was the Taipei mayor, he tried to shift the blame to his deputy mayor and the Executive Yuan respectively (“Ma ducks MeHAS responsibility, cites ‘chop,’” March 29, page 1).
There are three other major project scandals being investigated by the Taipei City Government.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that a mayor who knows little about city projects is a problem and asked Ma to explain this to the citizens.
When Ma was the mayor, he was accused of pocketing special funds. Upon his indictment, Ma donated the money to charities and declared his candidacy for presidency to “show his cleanness and innocence.” Ma was acquitted, but his associate Yu Wen (余文) was imprisoned for more than one year. “Yu Wen” has become a common term for a scapegoat.
Although Ma was called “a bumbler” by foreign media, he is actually very smart and knows how to keep himself safe. Ma is a professional at blaming others — it is his favorite tactic and has been effective to date. Building obstacles around his residence and the Presidential Office is another way he has kept himself safe.
Ma has recently been investigated in several cases of alleged unlawful acceptance of excessive political donations from large corporations and the unknown flow of these funds. His major concern now is how to step down safely on May 20 next year, or earlier, without following in the footsteps of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) by ending up in prison.
Political commentator Hu Chung-shin (胡忠信) has openly and repeatedly urged Ma to step down soon and go back to Harvard University as a visiting scholar for the sake of himself, his family and Taiwan.
If Ma thinks his customary trick “the buck stops there” might not work this time, he should take Hu’s advice.
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