Fri, May 05, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma says he'd `rather die singing'

PHILOSOPHICAL The KMT chairman quoted a poem in responding to criticism over his opposition to changing the Constitution during a May Fourth Movement event

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Responding to resentment from some party members over his firm opposition to proposed constitutional amendments, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday likened himself to a "crow" that would "rather die singing than live a silent life."

Quoting Chinese philosopher and diplomat Hu Shih's (胡適) poem Crow, the chairman said his efforts to push for KMT reform made him an annoying crow, but every revolutionist faced the same challenge and he would not blanch.

"I woke up early in the morning, crying from people's rooftops. People found me annoying and said that I brought bad luck. But I can't keep silent just to please them," Ma said, reading the poem yesterday during a commemoration event in memory of the May Fourth Movement at KMT headquarters.

Taking the issue of constitutional amendments as an example, Ma said it was important to declare the party's stance and stand firm in their beliefs despite pressure from many sides.

The KMT yesterday held a memorial event to commemorate the 87th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement, an anti-imperialist, cultural and political movement of May 4, 1919, in China.

In his keynote speech, Ma lauded the spirit of the May Fourth Movement and used the event to say the government was failing to take care of the people.

"We remember the May Fourth Movement in the hope of establishing a government that is open and follows the Constitution ... Our politics and society are in chaos, and the movement serves as a mirror for us," he said.

The party also held an exhibition to showcase some handwritten notes from some Chinese Communist Party heavyweights during the period, including Mao Zedong (毛澤東).

According to Shao Ming-huang (邵銘煌), head of the KMT's Party History Center, Mao's notes drew the attention of visitors.

Mao wrote a letter in 1924 to two KMT workers during a time when the Chinese Communist Party was cooperating with the KMT. He reported his work schedule in Changsha, China.

Shao said the movement grew out of dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles settlement and the effect of the New Cultural Movement. It marked the upsurge of Chinese nationalism, and a re-evaluation of Chinese cultural institutions, such as Confucianism.

also see story:

Ma and his party have naive view of history

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