A former gang leader’s plan to ensure President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) safety in the face of the growing number of protests and to take action against the protesters serves as a warning that the Ma administration could resort to not only secret agents, but also gangsters to govern like the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) did in the past, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.
Chang An-le (張安樂), the head of the China Unification Promotion Party, yesterday said that he planned to establish an “action alliance” to support prosecutors amid the snowballing controversy over wiretapping practices, in particular wiretaps of the legislature, and did not rule out putting together a 2,000-member squadron to protect the president from protesters who have been shadowing the president at recent events.
Civic groups have said they will hold demonstrations in Wuci District (梧棲), Greater Taichung, where the KMT is scheduled to hold its national congress on Nov. 10.
“If [this] happened... If gangsters were used to contain social movements and students, I would say that it is a disgrace for a democracy like Taiwan,” DPP caucus director-general Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) told a press conference.
“Staging protests, including throwing shoes at the president, is a civil right protected by the Constitution,” Gao said.
Chang, also known as “White Wolf,” is a former leader of the Bamboo Union gang who was released on bail upon his return to Taiwan in June, 17 years after being listed on the nation’s most-wanted list and fleeing to China in 1996.
The gangster-turned-businessman and politician has been advocating peaceful unification and has been very vocal on domestic political issues, often taking a pro-KMT position.
With regards to the strong public outcry against the Special Prosecutors Division’s (SID) surveillance of the Legislative Yuan’s switchboard, Chang was quoted as saying on Sunday that the legislature would have become “the hotbed of crime” if the SID did not carry out the surveillance.
The SID’s practice and Chang’s plan appeared to suggest that Ma is willing to govern with the help ofsecret agents and thugs, Gao said.
“I thought the use of police force to crack down on protesters during the Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) incident was the furthest this administration would go. Now gangsters want to be involved in ‘maintaining social order,’” DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said.
Wu was referring to an incident in which the police beat and arrested protesters in November 2008, when Chen, chairman of the Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, visited Taipei.
“While gangsters enjoy freedom of expression like everyone else, they should not obstruct others’ freedom of expression,” DPP Legislator Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) said.