The pan-blue camp has been revitalized by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (
Judge Tsai Shou-hsun (
However, as there still is no uniform definition for the nature of the mayoral allowance, and as the initial ruling is just the legal interpretation of the judge, Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (
Although the ruling interprets the mayoral allowance as a subsidy, half of the receipts drawn on the allowance must still be verified and accounted for. This clearly demonstrates that these are not funds that mayors can spend on private expenses without any restrictions, use for non-official purposes or put into their pockets. Therefore, Tsai's interpretation is still debatable.
Saying Ma had no criminal intent because the amount of money he donated exceeded his special allowance conflates cause and effect. Most of Ma's donations were made after the special allowance scandal broke and were a measure to remedy his mistakes. Buying indulgences doesn't mean the sin was not committed in the first place.
Moreover, the court based its ruling only on a formal examination of the main documents in the case without looking into the true nature of the charges.
Ma has escaped punishment because he listened to his lawyer and insisted that he thought that the special mayoral allowance was a private fund. By doing so, he was able to stress that he never intended to misuse public funds.
But people who are not too forgetful might remember that at the outset of the case, Ma said in an interview that he was of the opinion that the special mayoral allowance was public money.
Of course the court cannot use statements made outside of the courtroom, but Ma has contradicted himself in and out of court.
Both Ma and Frank Hsieh (
If presidential candidates are placed under investigation, the fact that they are candidates means their ethical standards should be higher. Not breaking the law is the least that should be expected of them.
The judicial branch's monitoring of politicians can help ensure their honesty. The fact that a candidate is nervous before a verdict is handed down in his case shows that Taiwan's legal system is independent. In turn, this means that the nation has entered a new era and left the old days behind when the KMT leadership could say: "We own the courts."
Almost as soon as the plane carrying a US delegation led by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi took off from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on Thursday, Beijing announced four days of live-fire military drills around Taiwan. China unilaterally cordoned off six maritime exclusion zones around Taiwan proper to simulate a blockade of the nation, fired 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles and conducted coordinated maneuvers using naval vessels and aircraft. Although the drills were originally to end on Sunday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theater Command issued a statement through Chinese state media that the exercises would continue,
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week represented a milestone in Taiwan-US relations, but also pricked the bubble of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) big lie that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. During a speech delivered at the Presidential Office in Taipei on Wednesday, Pelosi said: “Forty-two years ago, America made a bedrock promise to always stand with Taiwan,” referring to the US’ Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. On the eve of her visit to Taiwan, Pelosi published an article in the Washington Post in which she stated that “America must stand by Taiwan.” With China
Despite political pressure at home to keep her from doing so, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally visited Taiwan last week, causing quite a stir. As Pelosi stuck to her guns, her visit was of considerable significance. Pelosi was born into the D’Alesandro political family. Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr, was a US Representative and later mayor of Baltimore for 12 years. Pelosi was elected to the US House of Representatives at the age of 47 after her children were grown, and became the US’ first female House speaker in 2007 after the Democratic Party won the House majority.
United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) founder and former chairman Robert Tsao (曹興誠) on Friday last week pledged to donate NT$3 billion (US$100 million) to help Taiwan protect itself from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) aggression. While still UMC chairman, Tsao gained a reputation for supporting unification with China and backing parties such as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the New Party and the People First Party, which have similar leanings. During a TV show on Monday, host Clara Chou (周玉蔻) asked Tsao which politicians he now supported. Tsao said he had supported the New Party when it formed, had become disappointed by People First