Reactions to the indictment of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday were framed in typically bombastic partisan rhetoric.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday urged Ma to apologize to the public after his indictment on corruption charges.
"When we talk to our supporters, we often hear them say `justice will be served when Ma is indicted,'" DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) told a press conference. "Now we have finally seen justice."
During Ma's term as KMT chairman, the pan-green and the pan-blue camps have been preoccupied with bitter wrangling, Ker said, citing the impasse of the government's 2007 budget during the last legislative session.
"Ma owes the public an apology," he said.
When asked for comments about Ma's presidential bid, Ker said: "It is like ... a thief declaring he would like to become a police officer when he gets arrested."
DPP Legislator You Ching (尤清) said the indictment presented concrete facts that Ma had the motive to embezzle half of his allowance.
"Although Ma should be considered innocent until proven guilty after [all of his appeals have been exhausted], we believe it will be difficult for him to plead innocent," he said.
"But we still think that we should celebrate his indictment, for the sake of public peace," he said.
He added that Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (
KMT legislators were not to be outdone by the pan-green hyperbole, however, and joined in the blood sport by blasting the indictment as "political oppression" and a bid to thwart Ma from running in the presidential election in 2008.
The KMT has a "black gold exclusion clause" that requires the suspension of any member indicted for a crime, and which could deprive Ma of being able to campaign on behalf of his party.
"Today is the darkest day in the nation's judicial history. We strongly decry the results of the investigation. The judiciary has been used as a political weapon," KMT caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said.
KMT legislative caucus whip Hsu Shao-ping (
She called on Premier Su Tseng-chang (
Hsu was referring to Su's remarks late last year in which he said the controversy over the "special allowance funds" was the result of a "historical glitch," and that no single individual was at fault.
Other KMT lawmakers were less willing to engage their pan-green counterparts, urging prosecutors to speed up investigations into Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Su, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Yu, who have also been accused of misusing their special allowance funds.
DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun said last night that Ma's announcement of his presidential bid was an attempt to divert attention away from his indictment.
"[Ma's actions show] that he distrusts and disrespects the judiciary," Yu said.
Yu also said that the KMT's decision to repeal its black gold clause showed that the party was not serious about reform.
The People First Party (PFP) gave cautious support to Ma, with Spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) saying "an indictment is not tantamount to a conviction."
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it has allocated NT$68 million (US$2.32 million) to build an Internet-of-things (IoT) platform that would facilitate proactive maintenance of the railway system and enhance service punctuality. The agency said that it decided to build the platform to promote horizontal communication among its departments after an investigation into the Puyuma Express derailment in October 2018 found that its four main departments — electrical engineering, rolling stock, construction and transportation — failed to share information with one another. The platform would use artificial intelligence to analyze maintenance data collected by its departments, including railway crossings,