Late president Chiang Ching-kuo’s (蔣經國) mausoleum in Touliao (頭寮), Taoyuan County, yesterday was adorned with flowers to mark the 24th anniversary of his death.
The flowers were sent by various political figures, including former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Chiang’s son, Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Once a year Ma pays a visit to Chiang Ching-kuo’s mausoleum. Ma served as his English secretary in the 1980s.
Yesterday Ma appeared solemn and red-eyed as he led officials from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to pay tribute to the former president.
Upon leaving the mausoleum to canvass for support on the final day of his re-election campaign, Ma was accidentally hit by a screen door, creating a tense moment for his security detail.
Later, at a separate setting, upon hearing that Ma’s eyes had glistened during his tribute to Chiang Ching-kuo, Soong said that “Ma should cry in shame for not taking good care of Taiwan’s economy and its people.”
“When Chiang [Ching-kuo] passed away, Taiwan was the lead nation among the ‘Four Asian dragons,’ and now Taiwan is the last of the ‘Four Asian dragons,’” said Soong, who also started his political career as an English secretary for Chiang Ching-kuo.
“Ma indeed should be ashamed, and should cry and search his heart for whether he has led the general public to a better life,” Soong said.