2012 - 4th Quarter Writings

Self-Destruct! Why Ma Ying-jeou's Administration Keeps Bumbling Along

Friday December 14

The Economist article on "Ma the Bumbler," (November 17, 2012) certainly drew plenty of reactions in Taiwan and provided Taiwanese with a new buzzword for their vocabulary. Intentional or not, however, there was more. The ironic result of this article has been that it did more than suggest Ma is a bumbler; it has exposed and pointed out what really lay at the heart of the current ineptness and incompetency of the Ma administration. For it is not so much what the article had suggested, namely, "If it looks like a bumbler, and talks like a bumbler and acts like a bumbler, then it is a bumbler." Nor was it that, "A bumbler by any other name is still a bumbler." No, the unfortunate reality that the article revealed was something that is more deeply rooted and worse. What it pointed out was how the Ma administration continues to operate under placating and image-saving focal constraints. These constraints remain basic elements of its core philosophy, and unfortunately for Taiwan, that philosophy is the antithesis of progress. ...

The False Facade of Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou Continues to Crack

Thursday December 13

Even though Ma Ying-jeou has been known by many names such as "the phony pony" or Ma Ying-joke within Taiwan, his public relations team has managed to keep most of this hidden from those outside Taiwan where he is mistakenly touted as a great peacemaker. ...

Media Control and Other Increasing Taiwan Problems

Wednesday December 05

Scroll back down to September 7 where I had looked at what was the next big protest to happen in Taiwan; at that time Media groups and citizens were protesting the WantWant takeover of media. Concern over control of the media has continued to be a major issue and recently student groups have been the spearpoint in challenging the government's seeming lack of concern over media monopolization--particularly when the monopolization seems to be led by groups with strong pro-China interests. ...

Taiwan Examines the Harsh Reality of the One Party State

Thursday November 29

Earlier this November the two major countries with relations with Taiwan experienced leadership elections. In the United States (USA), Barack Obama won a second term of four years and in the Peopleˇ¦s Republic of China (PRC) Xi Jinping was elected as President for the upcoming decade. As these election processes played out, Taiwanese could observe both and compare them with their own process of choosing leaders. The difference of the selection process in the USA and PRC remains a classic case of opposing paradigms and systems. ...

Taiwan as the World Turns: Dalai Lama Strikes Out Again And More

Tuesday November 27

The administration of Ma the Bumbler keeps trying to insist that Ma's placating fawning approach to China is bringing peaceful results. Peace? Well a semblance of peace at what price. China continued to take advantage of Ma's placating and issued new passports which bear a map that makes the South China Sea, a PRC Mare Nostrum, and claims Taiwan and other territories of the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia as part of China??? ...

Taiwan's Unresolved Pingpu Issue: Taiwanese or Han?

Saturday November 24

An unresolved issue of Taiwan's past is that of the indigenous Pingpu tribes. The majority of Pingpu, sometimes called the plains aborigines, have been assimilated into the colonizing Han people that came to Taiwan. So great has been their assimilation that they have in many respects lost their identity and the government refuses to grant them status as the 15th indigenous/aboriginal tribe in Taiwan. For many Pingpu, this prevents them from claiming special grants and privileges allotted to the indigenous. But the issue does not end there. ...

Ma the Bumbler Continues to Avoid Looking in the Mirror

Tuesday November 20

Taiwan continues to face an embarrassing situation. Its president, Ma Ying-jeou, continues to live in an alternate reality--one where he is the hero and everyone loves him and everything he touches turns to gold; perhaps such is the vision of reality that many born into the privileged imagine for themselves. It is similar to many of the "prince-lings" in China who have been raised with a feeling of entitlement. Unfortunately Ma's media PR can only last so long and when the smoke and mirrors illusion dissipates such an alternative universe does also. ...

Ma Ying-joke Still Afraid to Admit to the PRC that he is Taiwan's President

Friday November 16

The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) 18th National Congress has come to an end and Ma Ying-jeou has sent Xi Jinping a note of congratulations on his becoming president. Unfortunately, Ma sent the note not as president of Taiwan, but only as Chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), once again showing to Taiwan and the world how he does not want to admit that Taiwan has a president and that that president was elected by the Taiwanese. ...

"Ma the Bumbler" Read about it in Nov. 17, Economist

Friday November 16

For those who read my writings, they will know how frequently I have questioned and challenged the competency of Ma Ying-jeou whether as Mayor of Taipei, or as President of Taiwan. Similarly, I have stressed how he is more style than substance and totally reliant on image. Thus, in reading the article "Ma the Bumbler, A former heart-throb loses his shine" in the November 17, 2012 Economist, I have to admit a feeling of "Well, finally, the world is catching up with my views." ...

Kaohsiung, Lee Ang, Pier 2 Art Center, "Life of Pi" and Rhythm & Hues Studios

Friday November 09

Citizens of Taiwan (especially those in Kaohsiung) were honored today as Lee Ang returned home for a screening of his new film, "Life of Pi" filmed primarily in Taiwan. Lee always gives back to his roots and today's ceremony was ample testimony of it. ...

Taiwan's One-Party Past and Law Still Protects the Guilty

Thursday November 08

In any normal democracy with respect for law and justice, government files are declassified after a specified period of time so that citizens can find out what really happened. Such laws do not exist in Taiwan in the sense that the public can have access to the real truth of the past. Under current laws from the KMT one-party state, files are allowed to be declassified, but information on third party participants, whether they are betrayers, informants, etc. is either not allowed or is blocked out. ...

Money Still Talks in Ma Ying-jeou's Taiwan/China Relations

Saturday November 03

Former Tuntex Group chairman, Chen Yu-hao who had been indicted on embezzling over US$27 million dollars back in 2003; as a result, he took the natural escape and fled to China. In 2009, Ma Ying-jeou touted how his government had signed an agreement to combat crime together with the powers that be in China, so when will China repatriate Chen Yu-hao? ...

Facing Realities in Taiwan: What is the Nation's Best Interests

Friday October 26

Assessing politics whether in Taiwan, the USA or anywhere in the world is an interesting and complex business. For example, there are some simplistic pundits who believe that the voters are never wrong because as these pundits hold, people vote in their best interests and should not be criticized. However, nowhere perhaps was this perspective more put to the test than in the case of the re-election of Richard Nixon as President of the USA in 1972. Former President, Harry Truman, a man not known for mincing words, had previously given different assessments of Nixon, one of which was the following. "Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at same time and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in." Despite such analytical commentary, Nixon won a landslide victory by over 18 million votes (60 per cent of the votes cast) and capturing 49 of 50 States in the US. Massachusetts and the District of Columbia being the exceptions that voted for Nixon's opponent George McGovern. Supposedly the public had voted in their best interest; certainly no persons could accuse them of being "dumb" or could they?

Taiwan, As the World Turns! the Sean Lien Shooting and More

Thursday October 25

Lin Cheng-wei, the man who shot and wounded KMT Sean Lien in 2010 has been re-sentenced to life imprisonment instead of the previous 24 years sentence; he was found guilty of attempting to murder Lien and negligent manslaughter of an innocent by-stander. All well and good, but the police have yet to come up with his motive and whether Sean Lien was the primary target. ...

The Residue of Taiwan's One-party KMT State Continues to Haunt the Nation

Wednesday October 24

Putting the squabbles of Taiwan, Japan, and China over the Diaoyutais/Senkaku Islands aside, there are other more pressing economic problems facing Taiwan as it hopes to balance the budget. A major issue in this and one of the many baggage problems dating back to the KMT one-party state is the problem of bonuses for retired government employees. ...

Taiwan's Additional Challenges: What to do with Legislators Under Investigation

Tuesday October 16

Should the fox be the one who has a say on who guards the hen house or what type of protection it should have? A similar problem is faced in Taiwan where Legislators who are under investigation for corruption and vote-buying too often sit on committees that oversee legislation on crimes and corruption. Most recent are KMT Legislator Liao Cheng-ching and PFP Legislator Lin Cheng-er sit on the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee. Both are involved in law suits on vote-buying. ...

Taiwan's Judicial System Again Under the Gun Over Wrongful Execution

Saturday October 13

Taiwan Serviceman, Chiang Kuo-ching,who was wrongfully executed 15 years ago for a confession achieved through torture, has only received partial justice post-humously. His conviction and execution were proven to be the result of torture thus exonerating him, but his torturers have still escaped the arm of the law, thus again indirectly indicting the dinosaur prosecutors and judges left over in Taiwan's judicial system from the one-party state days of the KMT. ...

Taiwan and the US Presidential Elections: Don't Hold Your Breath

Thursday October 11

The USA will be electing its President this coming November 6th and many US citizens of Taiwan descent may be wondering which candidate would be better suited for Taiwan. i.e. would Barack Obama or Mitt Romney be the better choice vis-a-vis Taiwan's future. My advice, don't hold your breath even thinking about it; vote for whomever you think is best suited to solve the challenges facing US citizens like health care, tax equality, jobs etc. ...

DPP's Frank Hsieh Visits China: Time to Break the Ice

Friday October 05

In a controversial move, Frank Hsieh of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has set out on a visit to China. Hsieh who has been a former premier and was the DPP candidate for president in 2008,is the highest ranking DPP member to visit the People's Republic of China(PRC). ...

Taiwan Gains Visa Waiver Status with USA, Something the PRC Does not Have!

Wednesday October 03

US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton made all Taiwanese happy yesterday when she announced that Taiwan would be the 37th country (note I said country) to gain membership in the USA's Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This is certainly good news for Taiwan and those therein that wish to travel to the USA. ...