Thu, Sep 12, 2013 - Page 3 News List

MA-WANG SHOWDOWN: Netizens criticize Ma ‘persecution’ of Wang Jin-pyng

SKEWED PRIORITIES:The president was accused of being more passionate about launching a political vendetta than dealing with economic problems

By Chiu Yan-ling and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Dozens of netizens vented their anger yesterday over what they said was President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “cold-blooded political persecution” of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) through “illegal, unconstitutional and inhumane” means, with some launching an online signature drive demanding the president’s immediate resignation.

The initiator of the signature drive, who identified himself as a swing voter, said that demanding Ma’s resignation was the “obligation and responsibility of every Taiwanese who loves this country and has a good sense of judgement of what is right and wrong, and of shame.”

“To take down his political enemies, Ma, despite being the head of state of this country, has resorted to illegal, unconstitutional and inhumane tactics and stepped beyond the mandate bestowed upon him by the Constitution by wiretapping the legislative speaker [Wang] and the leader of the opposition party caucus [Democratic Progressive Party caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘)],” the petition read.

Not only has the president tried to justify his illegitimate conduct, he has also used information obtained during the illegal wiretap operation to carry out a political vendetta against Wang and used his subjective judgement to unilaterally declare Wang guilty, the signature drive said.

“Ma’s behavior is the biggest disgrace to Taiwan’s democratic development and we [the public] must ask him to step down before the nation sinks into an indefinite period of darkness,” the petition said.

The petition had received backing from nearly 16,000 netizens as of press time.

Meanwhile, other Internet users also criticized Ma for reportedly saying that Wang should be stripped of his Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) membership for “tarnishing the party’s image and reputation” during a meeting of the KMT’s 15-member Disciplinary Committee held yesterday to discuss Wang’s fate.

The meeting reached a consensus to revoke Wang’s membership after deliberating for two hours and 20 minutes.

Sources say Ma, who is KMT chairman, was choked with tears as he made a 10-minute speech at the committee meeting, in which he said he was “too saddened by Wang’s involvement in illegal lobbying to be able to sleep.”

The legislative speaker is embroiled in an alleged influence-peddling case involving several prominent political figures, including Ker and former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), who resigned on Friday last week over the matter.

“It’s obvious that Ma has been trying to take down Wang since the very beginning. He [Ma] is such a hypocrite,” one netizen wrote.

Another said maybe it was the overwhelming joy of finally being able to remove Wang that had been keeping Ma up at night.

Some netizens also ridiculed the president for his unusually tough stance on the incident, saying that it seemed as if he was only capable of and passionate about launching political vendetta, instead of handling economic problems as he is supposed to.

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