Former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) lamented yesterday the loss of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lu Hsiu-yi (盧修一), who he described as selfless and kind.
Su made the remarks after attending the 10th anniversary of Lu’s death in Taipei yesterday afternoon.
On the eve of the Taipei County commissioner race in 1997, Lu kneeled on stage, despite being ill, to solicit votes for Su, the DPP candidate for the post. Su later won the election.
Emphasizing his debt to Lu, Su said he felt Lu had been with him over the past decade and that the reason Lu was still well remembered and respected was because he was an individual who was sincere, straightforward and vivacious.
During an era when the legislative chamber was under the control of legislators who had not had to face the electorate for decades, the DPP was united then, Su said.
“He was willing to forsake his dream of running for the top job in Taipei County and help me with my bid. There is no comparison between what he did for me and what other politicians would do,” Su said. “He did not do it for himself, he did it for his friend, for Taipei County and for the party.”
Su said he was ashamed and distraught after seeing the party lose in several elections and party members engage in fierce infighting.
“The party should feel embarrassed for losing that spirit,” Su said. “I wish there were more people like Lu to make his beloved Taiwan a better place.”
The latest Papua New Guinea fund scandal has delivered a significant blow to the DPP’s popularity.
Su yesterday opposed calls for President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to bear responsibility for the scandal, urging prosecutors to uncover the truth to prevent the public from being misled by “crooks.”
“I don’t think the head of state knows every detail of the plan and how it was executed,” Su said. “It is not right to hold the president responsible or ask him to step down, unless he is found to be guilty of corruption.”
Su said the country’s diplomatic situation was in dire straits and there were many problems that few people could understand — except for those who are actually involved.
He said he believed former vice premier Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) and former minister of foreign affairs James Huang (黃志芳) did not pocket any money and that he hoped the truth will come out soon and clear the names of the innocent.