Sat, Aug 05, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Wang defies rules to laud Soong

BOSOM BUDDIES?The legislative speaker praised the PFP chairman's achievements as Taiwan provincial governors as well as his 'affectionate, righteous and capable' style

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shrugging off the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) regulations that prohibit members from campaigning for other parties' candidates, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday praised People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) political achievements at the latter's book launch.

The Soong biography, entitled Ninety Percent Secret, documents his experience as Taiwan provincial governor when he enjoyed a public support rate of more than 90 percent. The book is seen as a warm-up to Soong's formal declaration of his candidacy for the Taipei mayoral post no later than next month.

Speaking at the book presentation, Wang lauded Soong's leadership and efforts to understand the public's need by visiting all cities and counties around the country when he served as Taiwan provincial governor.

"Chairman Soong is an affectionate, righteous and reasonable leader ... He is more capable than many politicians," Wang said at the event, which was held at Taipei Youth Activity Center.

Wang also complimented Soong's recent efforts to visit all districts in Taipei to address the need of the city's residents.

"I believe he will respond to the residents' problems with the best solutions ... I will say no more," he said.

Wang's support for Soong came in the face of the KMT's new regulations banning members from attending any campaign events held by opposition candidates in the year-end Kaohsiung and Taipei mayoral and city councilor elections.

Given that no KMT member would campaign for pan-green camp candidates, PFP Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said that the rules were clearly aimed at PFP candidates, including Soong, who told reporters during a lunch meeting on Tuesday that he might announce his decision whether to join the Taipei mayoral race next month.

Soong yesterday joked about the KMT's campaign ban, saying his aides had reminded him not to make any announcement regarding the election at the ceremony "in case the announcement makes things difficult for speaker Wang."

Expressing his desire to "serve the residents of Taipei," Soong added that he would take advantage of his experience as provincial governor, to "rediscover the nation's core values."

"The purpose of politics is to serve the people ... We need to find the basic values of a democratic society, which is that the people are the king," he said.

Soong criticized the Taipei City Government's lack of resolution and passivity in building Taipei into an international city. He then invited the media to accompany him on a tour of inspection of various municipal constructions around the city and listen to his proposed solutions.

Also present at the event was Independent Legislator Li Ao (李敖), who lambasted the KMT's appeal to voters to support the party's Taipei mayoral candidate Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) for the sake of pan-blue unity.

"If such an unfair situation can't be changed and people do not support candidates based on their political achievements, then it's not worth it for Chairman Soong to join the election," he said.

Claiming Soong's political achievements should be graded a hundred percent, rather than 90 percent, Li urged pan-blue supporters to "break the Hau Lung-bin spell" and support Soong instead.

The book chronicling Soong's service as provincial governor was written by Ma Xi-ping (馬西屏), who has also authored books on former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

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