Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) has proposed reinstating 30 minutes of free YouBike rental. Shortly after, independent Taipei mayoral candidate Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) called the proposal a “blockhead” idea.
Is Huang’s criticism fair? It is true that Chiang is relatively inexperienced in politics, but the more important question is how competent a person is he.
In the Taipei mayoral TV debate, Chiang repeatedly bragged about being a “Silicon Valley lawyer.”
However, US professor Tario Ong (翁達瑞) has said that Chiang had been suspended from practicing law in the US three times.
United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) founder Robert Tsao (曹興誠) also roasted Chiang, saying that his work at a law firm of which UMC was a client only involved setting up files and delivering documents.
Crestfallen and disgraced, Chiang resigned as legislator to change the discussion and to show his commitment to becoming mayor.
His leadership abilities have been the subject of small talk.
In an interpellation session in the legislature, Chiang was left speechless by remarks by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), and in a radio interview with television producer Wang Wei-chung (王偉忠) he was left tongue-tied, even though Wang kept feeding him openings to respond.
Huang’s criticism is fair if other proposals Chiang has made are also considered, such as a bus-seat reservation scheme, a “rides for squats” plan and air-conditioner rentals for classrooms.
On those issues, she was right. They were blockhead ideas.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) gives off the impression that he has his sights set on the Presidential Office, with little patience for distractions such as governing Taipei.
However, Chiang has a long way to go to prove that he is anything other than a pampered rich kid. As a Taipei resident, I have experienced eight years of stagnation under Ko, and I sincerely hope Chiang will not be the city’s next mayor.
Sophia Lee is a member of the Taiwan Association of University Professors.
Translated by Liu Yi-hung
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