The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) needs to be changed “from the root,” former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) agreed yesterday.
In a 40-minute live-stream hosted on Chou’s Facebook page ahead of the party’s chairperson election on Saturday, the two men, who were interviewed while working in a garden, were asked whether weeding was “like reform.”
“Yes,” Chou said. “Change must start from the root.”
“When you are weeding, you must remove the roots,” said Hau, who has served as KMT vice chairman three times and is up against KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) in the election.
“The same goes for reform. You have to solve the fundamental problem,” he said.
The KMT’s “fundamental problem” is its culture, and while some parts of it should be kept, others need to be changed, he said.
In the past, there was only “one voice” in the KMT — that of the chairperson, but the chairperson “is not a saint,” he said. “The party chairperson also makes mistakes.”
With a collective leadership that considers multiple opinions, there would be “few chances of making mistakes,” he added.
In an online interview on Saturday, Hau proposed the KMT post a representative to China.
Asked about former KMT Central Committee member Vincent Hsu (徐正文), whose party membership was suspended over suspicions that he altered the passenger list for the first charter flight of Taiwanese evacuated from Wuhan, China, last month, Hau on Saturday said that “all KMT members must safeguard the party’s image.”
“Those who act without authority and damage the party’s image should be disciplined,” he said.
Although the KMT is an opposition party, it would do its part to help Taiwanese living or working in China, so it “should have a party representative there,” he said.
The KMT also needed to tackle its public image of being “old and pro-China,” and should prohibit members from benefitting personally when handling cross-strait affairs, he said.
On the question of the KMT’s position on unification and independence, Hau said that “defending the Republic of China, opposing Taiwanese independence and rejecting the ‘one country, two systems’” framework proposed by China are the party’s core ideals.
The KMT lags far behind the Democratic Progressive Party in its social media presence, which could seriously limit its development unless something is done, he said.
Only by embracing social media could the party better connect with the public, particularly younger people, Hau said.
Saturday’s by-election is to select a successor to former chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who resigned following the KMT’s defeats in the elections on Jan. 11.
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