Monday, April 22, 2013

How Long Must Taiwan Endure the Curse of Chen Shui-bian?

How Long Must Taiwan Endure the Curse of Chen Shui-bian?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
April 21, 2013

Summary: Chen Shui-bian is billed as the "Son of Taiwan." In fact, Chen led Taiwan's democracy down the path of social divisiveness. Is the DPP, a self-styled "nativist political party," determined to chain Taiwan to Chen Shui-bian?

Full text below:

Chen Shui-bian has been transferred from the Taipei Prison to the Taichung Prison Pei-de Hospital for treatment. The DPP reacted by obstructing legislative business, idling the Legislative Yuan for an entire day. A contingent of Green Camp legislators arrived at the Ministry of Justice, determined to punish evil-doers. In a fit of apoplexy, they kicked down the door to the office of the Minister of Justice. Chen Chih-chung, as usual, mobilized protests. He accused the Ministry of Justice of lacking humanity.

This was a stormy day. For the public on Taiwan though, it was utterly meaningless. Chen Shui-bian was indicted for corruption five years ago. Since then the slightest sign of trouble would provoke the DPP, the Chen family, and Chen fanatics into public displays of hysteria. This has been the case with court appearances, judgments, medical treatment, and hospital transfers alike. The Green Camp is still milking Chen Shui-bian for all he is worth. Chen is a lever by which the DPP can apply pressure on the ruling KMT. He is also a means by which the DPP can emotionally blackmail the Taiwan public. He is a means by which the DPP can hijack Taiwan's democracy and rule of law. Chen Shui-bian has been in prison for five years. The DPP persists in chaining Taiwan to Chen forever. But just exactly what is its destination?

Chen Shui-bian's right to medical treatment cannot be ignored. That goes without saying. But he was transferred to Special Quarters in the Pei-de Hospital Central Taiwan Medical Treatment Center. He luxuriates in a private 800 square meter large recovery room and green space. His family members are allowed unlimited visits. He is diagnosed, treated, and cared for by an expert medical team. Only former presidents receive this five-star treatment. Buddhist Master Hsing Yun once suggested that President Ma put Chen Shui-bian under house arrest. In fact the conditions of the Pei-de Hospital are comparable to those of house arrest. Besides, Chen Chih-chung is currently unemployed. He is there all the time. Chen is probably even better off than he would be recuperating at home. Yet the DPP is determined to demagogue the issue. Why?

Veterans General Hospital is a conventional general hospital. If it continues treating Chen Shui-bian in the future, it is sure to undermine the rights of other patients, and squander precious medical resources. Chen Shui-bian must eventually be discharged. But the Ministry of Justice need not return him to the Taipei Prison. It can transfer him to the spacious and tranquil Pei-de Hospital. Here he will enjoy luxurious treatment, consistent with the law. If Chen Shui-bian is actually suffering from depression and other disorders, he will receive immediate attention from the medical staff. This is probably as far as humanitarian considerations can be taken.

Currently 2091 convicts on Taiwan are afflicted with mental illnesses. Among them 445 suffer from depression. Pei-de Hospital has admitted 150 of them. Which of these patient/inmates is eligible for "medical parole?" Which of them is eligible for "home recuperation?" Which of them luxuriates in his own private, 800 square meter "five-star house arrest ward?" The DPP's abetting of Chen Shui-bian is shameless. Does it really not know when to leave well enough alone?

Chen Chih-chung is leading Chen fanatics in hysterical protests. As Chen's son, his destiny is tied to his father's. He has personal motives. But what about the DPP? Chen family corruption has been exposed for all to see. Public attitudes are changing. But the DPP dithers. It dare not cut its ties to Chen Shui-bian. The prosecution of the Chen family has yet to be concluded. Yet the DPP has apparently forgotten the disaster Chen visited upon the Green Camp. It persists in clinging to him, as if he were a political asset. Is the DPP not a wee bit confused?

If the DPP persists in putting Chen Shui-bian on a pedestal to worship, that is its choice. But in order to abet Chen Shui-bian, the DPP mobilized its legislators. They paralyzed the legislature, at the expense of the nation and society, dragging them through the muck. Its behavior was both selfish and obtuse. Out of political calculations, the DPP played up Chen's incarceration for all it was worth. This may reveal the Ma administration's impotence. But it also reveals Green Camp legislators' brutality and arrogance, for a single political party and a single politician. Its move probably cost the DPP more points than it gained.

The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party seeking to regain political power. It is not a splinter party whose role is merely devil's advocate. It cannot afford to be too cavalier about obstructing legislature business. If we were living under authoritarian rule, and Chen Shui-bian a persecuted martyr, the DPP would be fully justified in throwing its support behind him. It would receive support from the people as well. But this is not authoritarian rule. Chen Shui-bian is not a persecuted martyr. He is corrupt kleptocrat who betrayed the public and stole from them the fruits of democracy. The DPP's behavior reveals its political favoritism and indifference to justice.

The Legislative Yuan has been idled for an entire day. The public is not witnessing a DPP victory. It is witnessing a political party that has acquired political tricks, but lost its moral compass. Today Green Camp legislators flew into a rage and kicked down the door to the office of the Minister of Justice. The public watched as the DPP engaged in crude violence. It watched as the DPP attempted to score political points. Twenty years later, the DPP is still chasing its own tail. Even more frightening, the DPP has chained Chen Shui-bian to Taiwan's leg, as if it were an iron ball.

Chen Shui-bian is billed as the "Son of Taiwan." In fact, Chen led Taiwan's democracy down the path of social divisiveness. Is the DPP, a self-styled "nativist political party," determined to chain Taiwan to Chen Shui-bian?

2013.04.21 03:37 am











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