Sun, Dec 23, 2018 - Page 6 News List

[ LETTER ]

Pioneer or sinner?

Kharis Templeman, project manager of the Taiwan Democracy and Security Project, which is part of the US-Asia Security Initiative, and a social science researcher at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, presented a speech on Nov. 30 at Encina Hall titled: “The 2018 Taiwanese local elections: Results and Implications.”

He pointed out that the low approval rating of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was a key factor in the election results and implied that Tsai’s re-election process looks shaky. She will probably face an intra-party challenge for the 2020 nomination, and she might use electoral incentives to rally her support base or pivot toward the independence issue.

On Dec. 9, attorney Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) presented a speech titled: “Transform Justice, Judicial Reform and 2018 Election” to San Francisco Bay Area Taiwanese at the Formosan United Methodist Church in San Leandro.

He said that after the election, the Taipei High Administrative Court decided to unfreeze about NT$38.5 billion (US$1.25 billion) in assets belonging to the National Women’s League. It was a big slap in the face of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee. The decision greatly damaged fair competition among political parties and the nation’s transitional justice project.

Yes, there were tons of reviews and discussions in Taiwanese communities around the world expressing criticism, disappointment and frustration at the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) defeats on Nov. 24 in Taiwan’s local nine-in-one elections — mainly caused by the DPP’s poor administrative performance.

Surprisingly, no one mentioned cyberattacks or the impact of vote-buying and underground gambling operations. It seemed that fake news and outside network attacks did not matter to this election. At least in Taiwan people should know the importance of cybersecurity, and how to prevent and avoid attacks.

China’s 50 Cent Party began in 1996, when a local Chinese government official hired Internet commentators to find topics discussed on the Internet and input fake news to manipulate those topics.

It developed from professional Internet commentators to school officials hiring students as part-time Web commentators; from the publicity department in Changsha to Shanghai Normal University to the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee and to the General Office of the Chinese State Council. Now it is well-known around the world as the 50 Cent Army.

This army can easily promote any obedient politician from a civilian amateur to a member of the political elite, such as Ko wen-je (柯文哲) in Taipei or Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in Kaohsiung.

Taiwan adopted China’s old traditional examination system to hire government employees, which is different to the US hiring academics who present opinions and beliefs to the government before adopting policies.

The examination system takes a long time, as employees must be trained to fit a job, while academics need to keep themselves up to date all the time otherwise they will be replaced.

This is an electronic era. A government must act rapidly when facing any challenge. Unfortunately, the DPP government seems not to know how to face this challenge.

Tsai adopted old KMT personnel to run her government; she amazingly turned the KMT’s political burden into the DPP’s crisis with the Mega International Commercial Bank scandal; and she insisted on maintaining the “status quo” of “Chinese Taipei” and suppressed the referendum for Taiwanese athletes to be compete under the name “Taiwan” for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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