November, Week One: As the World Turns in Taiwan
Thursday November 05, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.
A variety of things are happening as the world turns in Taiwan, November 2009. First there is the import of "health threatening" beef products from a signed agreement with the USA. The Ma government approved the signing, but now is hesitating and looking for an out as members of Ma's own party, the opposition party and the general population are objecting to it. Why Ma approved it and what deals he may have worked out or thought he was working out with the USA seem to be blowing up in his face and add credence to his growing reputation as Ma the Incompetent. It is unsure where this is going, but one thing is certain that Ma will begin to distance himself as he always does from the decision. He will either place the blame on the Premier or will try to counter with a dodge statement like, "We approved the import of health-threatening beef, but we did not tell the people that they should buy it." Regardless, with this debacle, the population of Taiwan is increasingly worried as Ma the Incompetent ploughs ahead with his desire to also sign a non-transparent ECFA agreement with Taiwan's enemy across the Strait.
The extension of the Taipei MRT Mucha Line has had more breakdowns and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin is finding himself in the unenviable position of how to distance himself from the failing condition of the city that he inherited from Ma the Incompetent. Somehow changing the name of the line to the Zhahu Line did not work the magic that was hoped. As more and more things go wrong in Taipei, Hau is either going to have to swallow what he inherited from Ma or begin to point the finger at Ma's previous administration. No, I am afraid that with more than ten years distance from when Chen Shui-bian was mayor, we can't pin this one on him.
But there is more. In the ho-hum department, Ma the Incompetent has made yet another promise. He will clean up the baseball game-fixing scandal that continues to develop in Taiwan. Ma doesn't know baseball, and he is out of his league with the gangster ridden bet-taking culture that has plagued Taiwan's professional baseball teams for the past decade. Yet in his usual way, Ma seems to think that he can cure anything by simply making executive promises and the people will believe him. Unfortunately for those who have witnessed this behavior so often in the past from his chicken in every pot 6-3-3 promise of a great economy to how opening links with China would deliver the wealth of untold tourists to Taiwan, to his supposed efforts to clean up his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), forgive us if we stifle a yawn. The world continues to turn in Taiwan and the population wonders what other plans Ma the Incompetent has for the nation besides his bid for a blind ECFA.