Looking at Su Jia-chyuan, Reminded of Chen Shui-bian
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 6, 2011
Summary: Su Jia-chyuan has turned into a replica of Chen Shui-bian. Unapologetically corrupt. Stubbornly unwilling to admit wrongdoing, Offering nonsensical arguments in his defense. Leaving the public appalled and disgusted. Chen Shui-bian has stepped down as president. Su Jia-chyuan, on the other hand, newly minted icon of "black gold," aspires to the office of vice president. Where is the justice in this outrage?
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Su Jia-chyuan has turned into a replica of Chen Shui-bian. Unapologetically corrupt. Stubbornly unwilling to admit wrongdoing, Offering nonsensical arguments in his defense. Leaving the public appalled and disgusted. Chen Shui-bian has stepped down as president. Su Jia-chyuan, on the other hand, newly minted icon of "black gold," aspires to the office of vice president. Where is the justice in this outrage?
Suppose Su Jia-chyuan is elected vice president. He will brazenly "preside" from his luxury mansion "farmhouse" in Pingtung. Secret Service agents will be at his beck and call. Security will be tight as a drum. His "farmhouse" mansion will become a symbol of authoritarian political domination. If this comes to pass, what will become of the rule of law? What will become of clean government? What will become of all that talk about character and ethics? What will become of all that talk about "agricultural land for agricultural use?" What will become of agricultural policy? What will become of land justice? What will become of the vice president as an exemplar of justice?
Su Jia-chyuan has a better way to deal with his luxury mansion "farmhouse" problem. Su Jia-chyuan's ancestral graves are built on state-owned grazing land. According to the law, one may not build gravesites on grazing land in the first place. Su's lawlessness has resulted in a scandal in which "the dead rent land." Su Jia-chyuan has said he will move the graves to another location. Su may move the graves, or he may not. At least he has acknowledged the facts of the case. Su Jia-chyuan's older brother paved over agricultural land with concrete, turning it into a night market. For the past 20 years, he misused agricultural land and agricultural electricity. For the past 20 years, he charged vendors "electric light fees" for their stalls. When the matter came to light, Su Jia-chyuan admitted it left a bad impression on the public. As a result he suspended operations a week later. This is accountability -- of a sort. So why is Su Jia-chyuan obstinately refusing to admit wrongdoing regarding his luxury mansion "farmhouse?" Why is he digging in his heels and holding out to the bitter end?
Su Jia-chyuan could simply deal with the matter the way he dealt with the ancestral graves and night market scandals. He could "lop off the arm that has been bitten by a snake." He could resolutely declare that since my luxury mansion "farmhouse" has aroused such intense controversy, I am renouncing it as my home, and restoring the agricultural land to its original use. On the one hand, he would be offering an apology to the public. On the other hand, he would be putting the past behind him and starting anew. Why did he do this with the ancestral graves and the night market, but not with his luxury mansion "farmhouse?"
The Su Jia-chyuan family has a problem. Its members are too clever for their own good. They have built family plots on public grazing land. Su Jia-chyuan's luxury farmhouse was built in the name of his wife, who is not a farmer. This makes it even more illegal, even more controversial. His wife's older sister has also built a luxury mansion "farmhouse" in the same neighborhood. His older brother built a night market on agricultural land. This was particularly outrageous. Su's family members installed a phony handicapped plate on their Mercedes Benz. His wife Hung Heng-chu's inordinately swift rise within the civil service system has also raised eyebrows. Su Jia-chyuan is now the DPP's vice presidential candidate. Is this to be his resume? Is this what the DPP wants as its image? If elected, can someone of his ilk really be allowed to assume the vice presidency of the Republic of China? Can he really uphold its national image?
Su Jia-chyuan is mired in the same muck as Chen Shui-bian. Yet the DPP insists on backing him all the way. The DPP is mired in the same muck with Su today, that it was with Chen yesterday. Consider the matter of legality. The luxury mansion "farmhouse" may occupy one-tenth of the total agricultural land, or it may not. But according to the law, roads landscaping, surrounding walls, and other "ancillary facilities" must be included when calculating the area of a farmhouse. Also, a farmhouse must meet the legal definitions for "agricultural use" and "agricultural operations." Can one simply plant a few fruit trees, create an ornamental flower garden, and pass it off as "agricultural land for agricultural use?" Su Jia-chyuan refuses to admit the truth. He has the temerity to argue that "The Pingtung County Government said no laws were broken." In fact, the Pingtung County Government has been reduced to the level of Ma Yung-cheng. In fact, the Pingtung County Government's "investigation report" is identical to Chen Shui-bian's "inventory of rewards." Can such sophistries really silence the whispers? Consider the ancestral plots issue. Instead of admitting that they were illegal, Su argues that "A Mainlander political authority wants to dig the graves of the Taiwanese people!" Consider the mansion issue. Instead of admitting that its construction was illegal, Su claims it cost "only" a few million dollars. He demands to know why a farmhouse cannot be beautiful. Why must it be dilapidated? Chen Shui-bian accused Ma Ying-jeou of "joining hands with the Chinese Communists to attack the Taiwanese people's president!" Su's subterfuge is identical to Chen's. Su's subterfuge is identical to Chen's "nation-building fund." What is today's Su Jia-chyuan, but a perfect replica of yesterday's Chen Shui-bian? What is today's DPP, which backs Su Jia-chyuan unquestioningly, but a perfect replica of yesterday's DPP, which did the same for Chen Shui-bian?
Chen Shui-bian is the DPP's older generation. Su Jia-chyuan is the DPP's newer generation. President Chen Shui-bian is a former president. Su Jia-chyuan is a potential vice president. Emotionally, logically, and legally, the public wants answers. It wants to know whether this person, who is synonymous with black gold, can be allowed to become vice president. It wants answers from the DPP. It wants to know whether the DPP is truly willing to be represented by someone with such a black gold image. The public must also ask itself certain questions. If Su Jia-chyuan, with his black gold luxury mansion "farmhouse" is elected vice president, will there still be any justice to speak of? Will there still be any integrity to speak of?
Chen Shui-bian's most grievous sin, was refusing to admit wrongdoing. He chose instead to stonewall. Today, Su Jia-chyuan's most grievous sin, is also refusing to admit wrongdoing. He too is choosing to stonewall. The DPP wants the public to back Su Jia-chyuan. They want the public to swallow that black gold luxury mansion "farmhouse" in silence. They want the public to allow Secret Service agents to surround it and protect it. If this is Su Jia-chyuan's understanding of conscience, if this is DPP's understanding of justice, if this is Tsai Ing-wen's understanding of integrity, then by all means, they should stonewall to the bitter end. The DPP was willing to back Chen Shui-bian to the bitter end. What's Su Jia-chyuan's paltry little luxury mansion "farmhouse" by comparison?
2011.10.06 03:03 am