The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday defended its latest TV campaign commercial targeting voters in their 50s, saying it was not designed to provoke divisions between older and younger generations, but rather to draw attention to middle-aged people’s aspirations for social stability.
The 106-second commercial was produced by the Council for Industrial and Commercial Development, a private organization, to drum up support for KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) and his running mate, Jennifer Wang (王如玄), in the run-up to the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections.
The ad features a male office worker born in the 1960s, with the narrator asking why a middle-aged man who has devoted his life to his family and nation would “become the bad guy in their comments today.”
“They never told us [South] Korea would easily beat us with preferential trade agreements that we do not have. Instead, they accuse my friends working on the other side of the Taiwan Strait of betraying their nation,” the narrator said.
“They also told our children that we have been brainwashed since we were young and that our nation no longer exists. They forbid me from saying the word ‘Justice,’ because justice is exclusive to them,” the man said, adding that whoever manufactures hatred is the bad guy.
At a news conference yesterday morning at the KMT’s headquarters in Taipei, council chairman Liao Wan-long (廖萬隆) said the commercial was produced by the council of its own accord in an effort to underscore the three elements it feels Taiwan needs: stability, development and prosperity.
“The council is comprised of more than 2,600 corporations. Forty years ago, I left my hometown in Yunlin County and got a job in Taipei. Twenty years later, I left my family behind and relocated to China for my business, forcing myself to endure solitude. We must not backtrack now,” Liao said.
When asked whether the commercial was aimed at creating divisions among different generations and ethnic groups, Liao said the council was merely telling the truth and seeking to prompt voters born between the 1970s and the 1990s to contemplate Taiwan’s collective future.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said the ad appealed to the so-called “silent majority,” what the KMT calls those aged 30 and older who wish for social stability.
“The council is looking for a candidate who can maintain stability, facilitate peaceful cross-strait development and steer Taiwan out of its current economic predicament,” Lin said. “They believe that Chu is the right person for the job.”
However, several public figures have taken issue with the commercial.
Media commentator and geek icon Lucifer Chu (朱學恆) said that like lemmings, the KMT has the habit of developing every possible suicide method and tool before elections.
“No one is calling people born in the 1950s bad guys. The villains are the KMT and the politicians associated with it,” Chu said.
Hakka hip-hop group Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤) accused the KMT of pretending to be innocent, saying the party has accumulated a lengthy rap sheet over the years.
The group singled out 40 incidents that it said easily prove the KMT’s guilt, including the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), who died in July 2013 after allegedly being severely punished while serving in the military; the forced demolition of the house and pharmacy of Chang Sen-wen (張森文), a 60-year-old resident of Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔), who later committed suicide in September 2013; and the party’s attempt to rush the cross-strait service trade agreement through the legislature in March 2014.
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