Mon, Jul 15, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ma says Taiwan becoming increasingly authoritarian while Tsai is in power

By Lin Liang-sheng  /  Staff reporter

Former president Ma Ying-jeou speaks at a forum on Taiwan and democracy in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has no right to criticize the Hong Kong government over an extradition bill, as Taiwan is becoming increasingly undemocratic under her rule, former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.

Ma made the remarks at an academic conference on democracy held by the Ma Ying-jeou Foundation and the Fair Winds Foundation in Taipei.

The Republic of China (ROC) appears to have turned into an authoritarian country after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) set up the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee to control the assets of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and its “so-called” affiliates, Ma said.

As a result, the KMT was forced to lay off many of its staff and cannot even access its assets unless approved by the committee, he said.

“That an opposition party’s assets would be controlled by the ruling party is rarely seen anywhere in the world,” he said.

The Act Governing the Settlement of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例) and the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), passed by the DPP-controlled legislature, seem to target the KMT, he said.

Both laws allowed the DPP administration to establish supposedly independent committees that are not actually independent and are likely unconstitutional, Ma said.

More than 400 of the people the Transitional Justice Commission exonerated at the end of last year were the Chinese Communist Party’s undercover agents, he said.

Their names can still be found at monuments in Beijing, he said, adding that exonerating them was inconsiderate for the families of those they allegedly killed.

Tsai’s “so-called” transitional justice does not bring reconciliation, but instead revives authoritarianism, he added.

While the extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government would undermine people’s freedom and democracy, “Tsai is worse” for making the DPP pass amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) last month to restrict people’s freedom and political rights, he said.

Tsai has no right to criticize the Hong Kong government, yet she used the issue to manipulate people into supporting her, he said.

As suggested in the book How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, a democracy dies when an authoritarian leader abuses their power to completely dominate an opposition party, Ma said.

“Is it not what is happening in Taiwan?” he asked.

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