Say No to Corruption: A Red Card Means You're Out
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
July 3, 2012
Summary: Lin Yi-shi was a rising star painstakingly cultivated by the KMT. Clearly it was a failed experiment. The Blue Camp pool of talent is stretched to the limit. The Ma administration is a poor judge of character. The corruption scandal is a heartbreaking lesson that has battered the image of the party. The only good news is that it has confirmed that the rule of law prevails, and is increasingly even-handed. Any politician who gets a Red Card is out of the game. No ifs, ands, or buts. After all, we are a country in which even a president who breaks the law is subject to the same punishment as a common person, let alone a mere Lin Yi-shi?
Full Text below:
After a night of interrogation, former Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lin Yi-shi was charged with several counts of political corruption. The Special Investigation Unit has detained him. Lin is the youngest ever Vice Chairman of the KMT. He is the Legislative Yuan party whip. He is the Executive Yuan Secretary-General. Lin Yi-shi is the golden boy of the KMT and the Ma administration. He was being groomed for high office. Now he is like a soccer player guilty of a violent foul. He has received a Red Card and has been suspended from the game, permanently. He has been expelled from the stadium. He has been humiliated.
In this particular case, the Special Investigation Unit deserves recognition. On June 27, The Weekly Edition broke the news. The Special Investigation Unit immediately began assigning individual cases. It prevented suspects from leaving the country, issued suspect alerts, obtained arrest and search warrants. On the fourth day it obtained an arrest warrant for Lin Yi-shi. As soon as hearings were concluded, he was held incommunicado.
Legislators and other elected officials have been known to abuse their power and influence. Many Blue and Green camp people are currently serving time. But Lin Yi-shi is an especially bitter disappointment. One. His alleged acts of bribery occurred just after Chen Shui-bian was convicted and imprisoned for political corruption. Public disgust with corruption was especially intense. Yet Lin debase himself anyway. He chose self-destructive greed. Two. President Ma held high the banner of "clean government." Lin Yi-shi occupied key positions within the party and within the administration. He did more than fail to lead by example. He wallowed in degradation. Three. After Lin Yi-shi lost his bid for reelection, he was apppointed Secretary-General of the Cabinet. President Ma trusted him. Now the image of the cabinet has been dealt a sever blow. Even worse, it leaves the impression that the president is a poor judge of character. The result is truly heartbreaking.
Let us examine the ins and outs of the case. Are George Chen's accusations against Lin Yi-shi true? That remains to be determined, by law enforcement and investigative officials. , Earlier this year, George Chen accused Lin Yi-shi of extortion. As a result China Steel Corporation was forced to cease supplying slag for some time. It may be that the Ti Yung Company illegally stored slag. The Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Agency repeatedly fined China Steel and ordered it to stop supplying product. George Chen was unable to obtain the product he neededd. Lin Yi-shi accepted bribes before. Chen expected Lin to help him out. He probably felt that Lin turned his back on him. Chen may have decided to blow the whistle on Lin. He may have decided to use the 63 million dollar bribe Lin accepted previously as leverage against him, even though they would both go down together. The result was a "golden boy" dug his own grave and jumped in it.
From what has been disclosed so far Lin Yi-shi's arrogance was incredible. For example Lin said, "I approved the Vanda CEO appointment." "I will take care of the matter. You will be very pleased with the results." "I'm the one who applies the Treasury Seal. I'm the one in charge of it." "The only ones who come to work at the Executive Yuan are the Premier, Vice Premier, and myself. The others are all my staffers." Listen to his tone. It is as if the entire Executive Yuan was in Lin Yi-shi's hands. This is the attitude of a petty dictator. President Ma, is this the same Lin Yi-shi you know?
The Lin corruption scandal has exposed the dark underbelly of government-run companies such as China Steel. Lin Yi-shi argued that the Ti Yung Company's construction costs exceeded 70 million dollars in two years. He said allegations that he extorted over 100 million dollars from them were "clearly exaggerated." Yet the exaggerated figures turned out to be true. As we can see, China Steel was ripe pickings for government vultures. China Steel even had a "Legislative Liason." What sort of funny business goes on in other government agencies without "Legislative Liasons?" Was China Steel guilty of wrongdoing? If so, someone will have to take the fall. If China Steel personnel are sued, perhaps in the future companies such as China Steel, China Petroleum, and Taipower will have a good excuse to "Just say no" to officials who demand bribes.
More than a few legislators have been indicted recently for demanding bribes. Cases include stealing and selling sand and gravel, illegal land development or rentals, illegal tour bus lines, or physician groups lobbying for compensation. Lin Yi-shi argued that his relationship with Ti Yung was perfectly above board. He was merely "serving his constituents." But his "service to his constituents" included demands for bribes. This commercialized the legislator's "service to his constituents." It turned it into quid pro quo transactions. It dressed up bribery as service to constituents. It twisted the meaning of the "service" provided by government agencies or public enterprises. It harmed the national interest. It abused public resources for the purpose of making a private profit. The biggest problem left over by the Lin corruption scandal is how to prevent politicians from making a private profit from public resources, all under the guise of "serving the constituents" or "reflecting the public will."
Lin Yi-shi was a rising star painstakingly cultivated by the KMT. Clearly it was a failed experiment. The Blue Camp pool of talent is stretched to the limit. The Ma administration is a poor judge of character. The corruption scandal is a heartbreaking lesson that has battered the image of the party. The only good news is that it has confirmed that the rule of law prevails, and is increasingly even-handed. Any politician who gets a Red Card is out of the game. No ifs, ands, or buts. After all, we are a country in which even a president who breaks the law is subject to the same punishment as a common person, let alone a mere Lin Yi-shi?
2012.07.03 01:53 am