Chiu Yi-ying on Chen Shui-bian
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 18, 2008
Chen Shui-bian is like a massive lead weight, weighing Taiwan down, steadily pulling it down into a dark abysss. One corruption scandal has erupted after another, provoking Blue vs. Green confrontation, consuming the island's oxygen. But Chen Shui-bian has also tested the island's mettle. Can Taiwan remove this albatross from around its neck? Can it reclaim its past vitality? These are questions both the ruling and opposition parties should be asking themselves.
Chen Shui-bian is a skilled political manipulator. He successfully hijacked Deep Green supporters and used them to control the Democratic Progressive Party. But when he was released from custody, he made the mistake of denouncing former Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien. He accused Yu of being too quick to spill his guts. Chen's denunciation chilled the hearts of Chen loyalists and provoked a backlash. DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying openly sided with Yu Cheng-hsien, and called for Chen's wife Wu Shu-chen to "Stand up and face the music. Stop lying. Stop abusing the goodwill of Democratic Progressive Party comrades." In fact, many people have been holding their feelings in for quite a while. Now is the time for members of the Democratic Progressive Party to speak the truth without pulling their punches.
Three simple requests: Face justice, Stop lying. And stop abusing the goodwill of party comrades. Looking back, Chen Shui-bian and his wife have always done just the opposite, and not felt one iota of remorse for their actions. They have alway sacrificed others and looked after Number One. Now they find themselves at a dead end. They are fighting back with all means possible, like cornered rats. They are hardly likely to change their nature at the drop of a hat. But now is the time for Green Camp members to confront the harsh reality of hundreds of millions of NT in being moved hither and thither. Given Chen Shui-bian and his wife's cold-bloodedness and selfishness, isn't it time for them to ask themselves the following questions: Our comrades love Ah-Bian. But does Ah-Bian love our comrades back? Or better yet, Taiwan loves Ah-Bian. But does Ah-Bian love Taiwan back?
As soon as Chiu Yi-ying spoke her mind, others in the DPP chimed in. They were no longer bound hand and foot by diehard Deep Green Chen supporters. One Chen family corruption scandal after another has erupted. If the evidence turns out to be conclusive, the Chen family must take responsibility for its crimes. By the same token, the Democratic Progressive Party must take responsibility for Chen Shui-bian. It must no longer use "due process" and "civil rights" as a pretext to evade the truth. Was the backlash among Chen's troops merely a case of unrequited love? If it involved merely personal discontent rather than moral outrage, it will not motivate the Democratic Progressive Party to thoroughly reject corruption.
For decades, the Democratic Progressive Party carried on a life or death struggle against far more powerful forces. Party members developed an intense feeling of comradeship. To cast aside such feelings is not in the nature of the Democratic Progressive Party. That is why even though many people know Ah-Bian is in the wrong, they can't bring themselves to abandon him. They even feel compelled to back him when he falsely alleges "Political persecution!" Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Tsai Ing-wen's analysis was correct. Historical factors, political realities, and personal feelings all play a part. The fact is Chen Shui-bian remains an albatross around the Democratic Progressive Party's neck.
This man, who was once your president, is consumed by unbridled greed. He is indifferent to the cost his behavior has exacted on society. He cares only about saving his own skin. This is not your run of the mill corruption. It impacts Taiwan's economic future, whether it will continue to prosper or slide into destitution. The Democratic Progressive Party has been gravely wounded. Physically and mentally, it will take time to recover. But even if the public is willing to forgive, they cannot wait patiently for the Democratic Progressive Party to grow up.
Chen Shui-bian is not merely an albatross around the Democratic Progressive Party's neck. He is an albatross around Taiwan's neck. Merely disowning him is not enough. Chen Shui-bian's wrongs were collective wrongs. His word was once law. Dissenters within the party were attacked from all sides. Those hoping to share power and partake in the spoils curried his favor. Now he has fallen from grace. Does that mean those who aided and abetted his crimes need not engage in serious soul-searching? Shifting responsibility onto him alone will not motivate this den of thieves to engage in self-introspection, and more importantly, self-betterment. History will merely repeat itself with a different cast of characters. Drawing lines in the sand is easy, especially when the other person has fallen from grace. Confronting Chen Shui-bian's crimes is difficult for the DPP, because it forces the DPP to confront its own criminal complicity. It forces the DPP to confront the things it should have done, but failed to do. It forces the DPP to confront the ideals it should have upheld, but failed to uphold. It forces the DPP to summon up the courage to prevent a repetition of the same mistakes.
That is why Chairman Tsai Ing-wen stressed that the Democratic Progressive Party is assuming all responsibility for Chen Shui-bian's wrongdoing. This is the only way the DPP and Taiwan can move forward. We hope the Democratic Progressive Party will walk the walk in addition to talking the talk.
Motivated by long-term comradeship, the Democratic Progressive Party condoned Chen Shui-bian's wrongdoing. Motivated by long-term comradeship, The public on Taiwan condoned the Democratic Progressive Party's wrongdoing. Experience has shown that ignoring right and wrong and condoning another's wrongdoing undermines his growth, and is detrimental to society's development. The Chen family's scandals are not the fault of Chen Shui-bian alone. The DPP and the public on Taiwan are also responsible. Everyone is busy pointing fingers at others. We should take a long, hard look in the mirror, and learn from our mistakes. If we do so, the Chen family corruption scandals will no longer be a lead weight that drags Taiwan down into the abyss. They will be rungs on a ladder that allow us to reach a higher level.