Sat, Apr 18, 2015 - Page 8 News List

Recovery of ‘30-second Chung’ is miraculous

By Lu Shih-hsiang 盧世祥

At a recent meeting of the legislature’s internal administration committee, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) was heckled by Academia Sinica researcher Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) — who attended the meeting as an observer — calling Chang the “shame of the legislature.”

Chang said he was petrified by the incident and had to spend a whole evening with a Taoist priest to perform a ceremony to recover his frightened soul. Huang, a mild-mannered scholar, momentarily lost his temper. If this trifling scene made Chang visit a priest, his mental state must be extremely fragile.

One year ago, the very same Chang, with dictatorial arrogance, forced the cross-strait service trade agreement through the committee and to the legislative floor in just 30 seconds, earning Chang the sobriquet “Half-a-Minute Chung” (a play on words on the second syllable of his given name, which sounds like the Mandarin word for “minute”) in addition to his other nickname, “Jhonghe Motel King,” which he earned because of his motel investments in New Taipei City’s Jhonghe District. When “Half-a-Minute Chung” sent the service trade agreement through to the legislature, he sparked the Sunflower movement, which later led to the KMT’s drubbing at the nine-in-one elections last year.

He is still at it, attempting to block changes to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) and the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Referendums are a direct means for the public to make their voices heard and are an essential part of democracy. However, because the worship of authority is ingrained in the Taiwanese psyche — and for fear of public opinion becoming increasingly independent — referendums are kept locked away in a cupboard marked “dangerous” and administrative procedures are put in place to make things difficult, so that — just like the Recall Act — the Referendum Act exists in name only.

Huang, together with civic groups, has called for reform of the Referendum Act and for the dismissal of underperforming officials. Their demands are simply for the correction of anomalies in the nation’s system of representative democracy and a return of power to the people.

Even after the Sunflower movement and the nine-in-one elections, “Half-a-Minute Chung” — with his loyal band of KMT supporters — is still deliberately obstructing progress. Chang’s malign instincts and pigheadedness are shocking.

The string of military scandals over the past few weeks have sparked a public outcry. These incidents demonstrate the extent to which the pursuit of personal gain has infected the nation’s military forces, whether it be the army, navy or air force, high-ranking officers or the lower ranks, serving and retired. Within the ranks of the armed forces lie moral degenerates and traitors willing to be used by the enemy.

Who would have thought the old Martial Law era slogan: “Don’t allow spies to slip in through the back door” would apply to the military today? However, what is really shocking is that the nation’s commander-in-chief recently bragged that cross-strait relations are at their most stable and peaceful in 66 years. It is President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pretense that everything is going so well that has led Taiwan into this mess.

Those most stricken with fear and in need of a visit to a Taoist priest are the Taiwanese. However, unlike “Half-a-Minute Chung,” who reverted to form following his “shock” therapy, the public must not let things lie. They should take to the barricades to demand radical reform and the removal of malign elements within political parties, the government and the military that are the source of the nation’s present woes.

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