What has Ko achieved?
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) recently told the media that the last time he took part in the “two lighthouses in one day” cycling challenge — riding from the lighthouses on the northernmost to the southernmost tip of Taiwan — he said that he did not eat much, just amphetamines.
Is it really appropriate for the mayor of the nation’s capital to belittle himself so, and suggest that he is a user of narcotics?
It is common knowledge that Ko is fascinated by former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) and former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).
Perhaps he is trying to emulate Mao, who swam in the Yangtze River in a propaganda stunt when he was well into his 70s, and said that he took amphetamines as if it were something to brag about.
Unfortunately, this kind of bravado does not really qualify as good performance in public office in a democratic era, nor can it conceal Ko’s incompetence in government, which has seen his opinion polls tank.
Interestingly, the other strongman Ko admires, Chiang, is known to have said that the way of governing people does not lie in talk.
Ko is hardly known for his verbal reticence. He might have aspired to learn from Chiang in the past, but he apparently merely scratched the surface of what the former president had to teach.
Having blurted out his gaffe on this occasion, Ko tried to walk back, saying that when he was a surgeon he would need fortitude and stamina to get through tiring days.
Being the mayor of a major city and a surgeon are very different propositions.
The fortitude and stamina a mayor needs to demonstrate is to keep one’s promises to voters; that of being a surgeon is fighting tiredness through long hours.
That notwithstanding, there are probably some surgeons who would have a few things to say about Ko bragging about his performance as a doctor.
Simply looking at Ko’s criticism of the badly conceived construction projects initiated by his predecessor, one would have to wonder about Ko’s own undertaking to resolve the issues with those projects and make them come to fruition.
What exactly has he achieved during his time as mayor? What have his fortitude and stamina achieved?
New Taipei City
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