Thu, Jan 23, 2014 - Page 8

In bad taste

Perhaps the media could ask whether Taoyuan Police Precinct Chief Kao Shou-sun (高壽孫) would be happy having his mother, sisters or daughters dress up as Qing Dynasty imperial concubines and accompany him as he distributes red envelopes for the Lunar New Year (Photo, Jan. 21, page 3)? Perhaps they could also ask why he did not dress up as a Qing Dynasty Emperor himself.

Given the current head of the Executive Yuan’s penchant for wearing the emperor’s clothes, Kao might even have bought some favor from the palace by doing so.

Aside from the disrespectful, degrading and deeply misogynistic request that female police officers in his charge dress up as concubines (why not dress the male officers up as eunuchs?), one wonders how a senior police officer of the Republic of China (ROC), a nation founded by a man who despised the Qing Dynasty as foreign barbarians, deems it appropriate to have his officers dress up in the clothing of the empire the ROC overthrew.

I am pretty sure that Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) would roll in his grave if he saw Taiwanese celebrate something he put his life on the line to free the Chinese nation from, and be saddened to see his ROC imposed upon the Taiwanese, a people who he had hoped, along side the Koreans, would gain independence from colonial occupation.

No doubt Kao’s response would be that the officers in question thought of the idea and he supported them.

Even if this was so, he should have had the moral strength, sense and basic education and understanding of ROC history to refuse.

He might even argue that the Qing Dynasty accounts for 214 years of recent Taiwanese history, but would he want to stand proud and be associated with a history of imperial occupation, incompetence and corruption on Taiwan that was marked by very little significant infrastructure development, and which led as a result to rebellions and outright revolts every five years or so?

Finally, as a police officer and public servant, why is it Kao’s job to distribute presents to the public? Is he considering running for public office some time in the future?

Ben Goren