Film director Chen Yu-hsun (陳玉勳) recently joined critics in denouncing what he called President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “black-box operations” in signing a cross-strait service trade pact, questioning Ma’s motives for keeping the pact secret, while making known to the world that he has two colorectal polyps.
“Why keep the details of the cross-strait service trade agreement from the public and the Legislative Yuan, but announce to the world that two polyps had been found in the entrance of his anus?” Chen said in a message he posted on Facebook on Saturday night.
Chen was referring to a Presidential Office press release that day that said two colorectal polyps measuring 2mm in diameter were found 10cm and 25cm from Ma’s anus during his annual physical exam.
The press release triggered speculation that the government was trying to detract attention from the backlash against the service trade agreement inked in Shanghai on Friday. Chen’s message struck a chord with a number of netizens and attracted nearly 700 “likes” shortly after it was posted.
One netizen said Chen’s comment should make headlines, while another ridiculed Ma by saying that “the agreement only threatens the lives of others, but the two polyps could threaten the life of our president!”
In separate messages posted on his Facebook page on Saturday, Chen described Taiwanese representatives in charge of signing the agreement as “bastards” and criticized the pact as “a treaty that not only humiliates the nation, but also forfeits its sovereignty.”
Chen also shared a link to an online signature drive launched by the Taiwan Solidarity Union to recall Ma over the agreement, urging people to rise above their political affiliations and join him in deposing the president to prevent him from selling out the country.
However, Chen on Sunday hid the message concerning Ma’s health examination and instead shared a news story reporting that he had confronted and challenged Ma over the accord.
“Does my message constitute a challenge? I don’t think it does, because what Ma is doing is simply outrageous,” Chen said.
The agreement, under which China will open 80 of its service sectors to Taiwanese investors, while Taiwan will open 64 sectors, has triggered an outcry in affected industries, mainly because the government did not disclose details of the treaty or compile an impact assessment report on the deal’s potential effects before it was signed.
National policy adviser and publisher Rex How (郝明義) has also strongly criticized the Ma administration, saying it had failed to consult concerned sectors before signing the agreement, arrogantly ignored the industries’ demands and lacked sympathy for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“The publishing business is vigorous, diverse and creative in Taiwan, so we don’t fear competition from China, but we need the same degree of opening of the Chinese market,” he told a press conference yesterday in Taipei, where a number of Taiwanese publishers said the pact opened up the local market to Chinese publishers, while China has not promised the same degree of openness for Taiwanese publishers.
“We do not support an agreement that’s signed behind closed doors, without consulting the publishing business, without assessment of possible impacts and without mutual benefits,” How added.
Additonal reporting by Loa Iok-sin