President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) served two terms as mayor of Taipei, from 1998 to 2006. In February 2007, he was charged with corruption in relation to a discretionary fund that he had at his disposal as Taipei mayor.
In response to the charges, Ma wrote: “Taiwan’s democracy has now entered a cold winter night. Good citizens are at their wits’ end as crooks and ruffians hoot and howl like owls and wolves in a dark forest. Now that justice has been usurped by politics, fury has become the last resort for what remains of our dignity. If we are to stop the wicked from having their way and salvage Taiwan’s last glimmer of hope, we have no other option than to boldly stand up and say ‘no’ to them.”
Who are the owls and wolves now? To whom should we be boldly saying no?
The storm over Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) involvement in TaiMed Biologics Co — the Yu Chang case — has been raging for a few days.
The most unbelievable thing about the Yu Chang controversy is that a government that is always claiming to uphold democracy and human rights could alter or fabricate official documents as a means of attacking those whose standpoints and opinions differ from its own.
In other words, this government is not safeguarding the public’s freedom and property. On the contrary, Ma’s administration is not averse to using the machinery of state and the nation’s resources to try and attack those who threaten its political interests, and it will not stop at using fake official documents to level false criminal charges against them, vilify their moral integrity and assassinate their character.
It is the same kind of logic and the same kind of manipulation that ended the bright young life of air force serviceman Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶), who was wrongfully executed in 1997 after military investigators framed him for murder.
If even Tsai, as chairperson of the nation’s main opposition party, cannot escape this pervasive repression and vilification, what is there to keep the government’s claws off ordinary citizens who have no such status?
We no longer have a democratic government that sees the public as its masters, but a tyrannical one that has nothing but contempt for the nation’s citizens.
If such a thing were to happen in any Western country, it would be a huge political scandal, but up to now nobody from Ma’s Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has come forward to apologize. On the contrary, they are trying to blame their own mix-up on the former DPP government.
In today’s Taiwan, if you have produced a document that the government cannot understand or figure out, the fault is yours, not the government’s.
If you should ever be perceived as a threat to the government’s grip on power, do not expect the government to feel that it has a duty to help you recover your good and honest reputation.
You will have to fight back against the government and you will have no one but yourself to help you do it.
Taiwanese judicial authorities these days work like remote-control toys. They are at the government’s beck and call to take on the opposition parties for any flaw they might have, even if the issue has been cooked up by the government.
This government is using our tax dollars to try to brainwash us.
It is not enough for Ma’s government to shut you up; they have to frame you too.
What can you call Ma’s government if not an authoritarian regime that tramples citizens’ rights underfoot?
Wu Shuh-min is president of the Taiwan Society.
Translated by Julian Clegg
Last year, China entered into a spat with Lithuania over Vilnius allowing Taipei to open a de facto embassy using the name “Taiwan.” Beijing recalled its ambassadors from Lithuania and downgraded its diplomatic ties with the Baltic state to the “charge d’affaires” level. In hindsight, China should realize that this move handed Lithuania on a plate to Taiwan. China used its economic leverage as punishment. First, it tried to pressure German industry giant Continental AG to stop using Lithuanian-made components. When an EU trade commissioner said that Chinese customs were refusing to clear goods containing Lithuanian parts, China denied it was at
With the fall of Kabul not yet six months past, Washington faces a fresh test of its ability to sustain Pax Americana, as more than 100,000 Russian troops, heavy artillery and tanks mass on Russia’s border with Ukraine. The mounting crisis looks set to become the greatest test of US President Joe Biden’s administration to date — the outcome of which could have far-reaching implications and send ripples through the Taiwan Strait. Moscow’s Ukraine gambit appears designed to probe the Biden administration — to ferret out its red lines and ascertain whether Washington is willing to commit troops to defend its
The State Bank of India has raised US$300 million from the Taiwanese market through a maiden issue of Formosa bonds at a coupon rate of 2.49 percent. The issuance attracted a wide range of investors, such as supranational agencies, asset managers, private bankers and financial institutions. Meanwhile, the Indian government has also started talks with Taiwan on a free-trade agreement. These developments would normally have been treated as a routine affair between India and Taiwan, but as the countries do not enjoy formal ties, and India has in the past remained hesitant to sign a free-trade agreement with Taiwan, the activities
Treason, in legal terms, is when a person is disloyal to their own nation, as opposed to their government. In the US context, Oran’s Dictionary of the Law defines treason as “the crime ... committed by a US citizen who helps a foreign government to overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the US” — again, as opposed to the US government. Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) was the first Taiwanese to encourage China to unify with Taiwan by force. Appearing on Chinese television, he called for “reunification,” saying that Beijing should aim its missiles at