Oh The Irony
Greater Taichung KMT Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) has complained that ‘the media are wasting social resources’ and must stop hounding KMT Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) over allegations of his connections to former KMT Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih’s (林益世 aka ‘014’) corruption. In addition, the media keep changing the focus of their investigation which was blurring the issue, Hu said.
And then this priceless gem …
The media’s actions are akin to publicly skinning Wu, which is unfair to him, Jason Hu said.
Let’s all remember now how the KMT and their media affiliates publicly skinned former President Chen Shui-bian mercilessly for over a year, how Jason Hu himself admitted that the KMT made the both 2008 and 2012 elections about Chen rather than candidates Hsieh or Tsai or Ma and how they cheered as Prosecutors revealed one superfluous and ungrounded charge after another, most of which were later shot down in court.
But publicly skinning Wu? No, that’s unfair and the former
gangster Mayor of Kaohsiung doesn’t deserve it, even if accusations of him keeping bad company are old hat. This from October 2009 for example:
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Chen Cheng-sheng (陳振盛) yesterday accused Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) of sending gangsters to threaten to kill him unless he withdrew from the Nantou County commissioner election. Chen yesterday went to a local police station to put on record the encounter, which he said happened at his house at midnight the night before he was due to register as a candidate last Wednesday. “The chief of the baidao [白道, law enforcers] sent a representative of the heidao [黑道, gangsters] to give me his orders, saying that if I dared to register the next day, gangsters would do me in,” Chen said. Chen said the person talked to him in a threatening manner. Calling Wu “the chief of the country’s baidao,” Chen said he wanted to let Wu realize the seriousness of the problem as it happened in Wu’s hometown, where Wu had served as commissioner from 1981 to 1989 and three terms as lawmaker.
Wu’s response? “Go to the Police if you think you have the evidence”. One month later, Wu filed a lawsuit against a DPP politician who accused him of being connected to criminals:
Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) lawyer yesterday filed a lawsuit against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Nantou County commissioner candidate Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) for saying Wu was connected to criminals. Last week, Lee alleged that Wu, Chiang Chin-liang (江欽良) — a convicted felon on parole — and Nantou County Commissioner Lee Chao-ching (李朝卿) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) traveled together to Bali, Indonesia, last December to settle distribution of profits from the local gravel trade and select a new Nantou County Council speaker and vice speaker. Rebutting Lee Wen-chung’s allegation, Wu told a press conference last Friday that the DPP candidate should prove his allegations or issue a public apology, giving Lee Wen-chung a three-day deadline ending on Monday. Because Lee Wen-chung still had not apologized, Wu’s lawyer filed the lawsuit yesterday. Wu has been on the defensive since Next Magazine published a story last Wednesday suggesting that he had ties to Chiang. Chiang, now chairman of the Tsaoyetun Night Market Association in Caotun Township (草屯), was convicted of murder in two separate cases: the slaying of a Changhua gangster and a Nantou County council member in 1983 and 1985 respectively. When asked for comment on the matter yesterday during an interview with the Chinese-language United Evening News, Wu said: “I have no choice but to file a lawsuit as I can’t indulge irresponsible behaviour by politicians. [Suing Lee Wen-chung] is not only defending my personal reputation, but also fighting for the goodness of Taiwanese people.” “It’s not a good thing that [Lee Wen-chung] defamed [my] character and smeared [Chiang], with whom he also consulted often in the past, or even that he thinks that [Chiang] should be trampled to death to gain his own political benefits and make his strategy work,” Wu added.
See that? Chiang was a convicted murderer but Wu is more worried about Chiang being smeared than about the impropriety of having connections to him. But when in doubt Wu does what every KMT politician has been raised to understand is the perfect defence: deflection of accusation by way of accusing your accuser of the same accusation. To wit a year ago, Wu decided that corruption in Taiwanese politics was something that suddenly emerged under Lee Tung-hui’s Presidency (1987~2000). Charles Snyder pointed out the obvious correction:
It was good that I was sitting down when I read the Taipei Times’ report on Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) baseless allegation that it was during former president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) term that the nation’s political culture became riddled with corruption and gangsters. It is rare that somebody hears such claptrap. The pervasive corruption and gangsterism in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), since its founding until today, are legion and have been recognized by just about every academic and historian worth their salt. To deny this is to deny reality. Even before infesting Taiwan with criminality, the KMT was well-known for its corruption in China. Historians have noted that former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and many other KMT leaders were members of the Triad Society, a Western term for the anti-imperial nationalists of the 19th century who morphed into gangs of plain-vicious hoodlums in the 20th century.
It’s an interesting piece in which Snyder uses Police statistics to show a large increase in youth gangs in the late 1950s and early 1960s, 65% of whose members were children of mainlanders despite these waiguoren comprising only 15% of the total population at the time. Snyder writes that the vast majority of gang members were sons and daughters of government officials and who were considered upper class and middle class. Two-thirds of gang members were students. Many of these Snyder alleges later went on to become the high ranking government officials of today.
So … no Mayor Hu. If you can’t take the heat you shouldn’t dish it out. And what will you say I wonder if some real incontrovertible evidence of Wu’s corruption emerges over the next few weeks?
God I miss Johnny Neihu.