Tue, Aug 22, 2006 - Page 1 News List

DPP lawmakers demand apology from `Ma the spy'

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday demanded an apology from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who they said had acted as a KMT informant when he was studying in the US.

"He made himself an enemy of human rights," DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓) said. "Despite his advocacy of human rights and the rule of law, I have a Chinese proverb for him: The weasel goes to pay his respects to the hen -- not with the best of intentions."

Producing a copy of what she said was an official letter issued by then presidential secretary-general Ma Chi-chuang (馬紀壯) on April 23, 1981, Hsieh said that Ma was recruited by the Presidential Office to fill the position of deputy director of the First Bureau immediately after his return from the US.

Ma, who graduated from Harvard University's law school, had previously worked as an intern for a law firm in New York.

The letter said that Ma, a recipient of the KMT's Chungshan Scholarship, was "loyal to the party and loved his country" and "organized various patriotic activities."

Pointing out that Ma had described former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) as an "insurgent" in one of the articles he wrote in 1980 about the "Kaohsiung Incident," DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said that it baffled him as to why Shih had now become a KMT hero because of the anti-Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) campaign he initiated.

The Kaohsiung Incident, also known as the Formosa Incident, refers to the police crackdown on a peaceful rally to mark Human Rights Day. The Dec. 10, 1979, event is generally recognized as an important turning point in the nation's democratization.

DPP Taipei City Councilor Yen Sheng-kuan (顏聖冠) showed a picture printed in a book that she said proved that Ma was gathering information for the KMT administration in exchange for his scholarship.

The photograph was taken in Boston on Jan. 28, 1978, and shows Ma leaving the scene of a demonstration organized to protest against a fixed election in Taiwan.

"Many people were blacklisted by the KMT administration as a result of tip-offs Ma provided," Yen said. "Ma has not apologized to the people of Taiwan, nor to those who were persecuted as a result of information he provided."

Yen called on Ma to face up to the past and apologize for his behavior, saying that if he failed to do so, he was not fit to run in the presidential election in 2008.

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