Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) might be accused of twice breaking his promises and betraying the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), then launching a signature drive for himself to stand as a candidate in January’s presidential election, only to turn around and quit the race. It clearly shows that rich people are free to do as they like. If that is so, then Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is the perfect example of a political hack who changes his position as easily as turning the pages of a book.
Taiwanese independence supporters know that it was only with the help of the 2014 Sunflower movement opposed to a proposed cross-strait service trade agreement and thanks to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for not fielding its own candidate that Ko was elected as mayor of Taipei.
However, Ko says that he wants to restart the shelved agreement, and he reportedly even apologized to former KMT legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) for having supported the Sunflower movement.
Ko has always been in politics for his own interests, and he has made all kinds of groundless accusations against President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the DPP administration.
On Nov. 15, Ko and the KMT signed six points of agreement on running a joint presidential ticket of Ko and the KMT’s nominee, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), but three days later Ko reneged on that consensus while making all kinds of excuses. Then, at the disastrous meeting between the KMT, the TPP and Gou on Thursday last week, Ko first agreed to Hou publicly reading aloud some text messages from his cellphone, but the next moment turned around and scolded Hou for doing so, saying that it was the sort of thing that celebrity pundits and mavericks would do.
Ko pulled Hou into a trap.
When Ko registered as a presidential candidate on Friday last week, wrecking any prospect for a joint ticket between the KMT and the TPP, and having just launched a verbal assault on the KMT, he said that he had tried very hard for the two parties to cooperate and that the two parties should not attack each other.
How can anyone be so brazen and shameless? Does the KMT now realize why the DPP has drawn a clear line between itself and Ko?
Having registered as a presidential candidate, Ko has heartily praised his running mate, TPP Legislator Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈), for being well accomplished in the arts.
However, in his autobiography The White Power (白色的力量), Ko wrote that “Taiwan’s top-notch talent go to medical school, and those who study the arts do not make the grade.” Compared with his praise for Wu, such self-aggrandizement and academic discrimination are a fine example of Ko’s nauseating hypocrisy.
How can Ko govern the country if nothing he says can be taken at face value? If the KMT and the DPP can agree on anything, it is that they should keep well clear of a political hack such as Ko.
Lai Yen-cheng is a graduate student at National Yangming Chiao Tung University.
Translated by Julian Clegg
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