Fri, Apr 05, 2013 - Page 3 News List

CKS memorial’s Web site criticized for effusive praise

BRAINWASHING?One Taipei resident was upset to find phrases hailing Chiang Kai-shek as the ‘Savior of Mankind,’ but a hall official defended the hall’s Web site

By Rachel Lin and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) yesterday accused the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall management office of encouraging sycophantic worship of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) by describing the former dictator as the “Savior of Mankind” on the hall’s Web site.

A Taipei woman surnamed Chen (陳) said she found phrases such as “The revered President Chiang, you are the Savior of Mankind. You are a Great Leader for the World,” on the Web site while helping her daughter with her homework.

On a section of the Web site called “Stories of Grandfather Chiang,” it says: “Chiang Kai-shek has a heart full of goodness and kindness. He forgives past wrongs done against him by old foes. He repaid enemies’ malevolence with kindness.”

“What I could not stand was that it was so far removed from historical truth. When I saw these words, it felt like I was back in my childhood days,” Chen said, adding that as the memorial hall used government funds to set up the Web site, it should “educate rather than brainwash our kids.”

Cheng said she has received similar complaints from the public.

The Web site only talks about Chiang’s contribution to Taiwan, but fails to mention anything about the 228 Massacre, the White Terror era or other historical events.

Wu Fu-pin (吳福濱), chairman of the National Alliance of Parents Organization, said he was astounded.

“I could not believe it,” he said. “This was the brainwashing we received 40 or 50 years ago. How can this still happen today in 2013?”

“Since the section of the Web site is meant to educate the children, it should conform to historic truths,” he said. “Otherwise it is myth-making and worshiping Chiang, with the hall becoming a ‘deity temple’ for Chiang.”

Hsu Hsiao-cheng (許孝誠), a Taipei high-school history teacher, said there are different facets to history.

“However, when introducing the history of Chiang to the children, historical facts should be presented, without subjective interpretation and viewpoints,” he said.

In response, Wu Tsu-sheng (吳祖勝), head of the hall’s management office, said that since the purpose of the memorial was to commemorate Chiang, it was inappropriate to mention controversial incidents.

History should be judged by historians and this is not something the memorial hall should do, he added.

The hall’s management office also stirred controversy earlier this week by launching a product design competition encourging the public to submit designs inspired by the memorial hall and stories about Chiang and his second wife, Soong Mayling (宋美齡).

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