Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why is Annette Lu Supporting Ah-Bian?

Why is Annette Lu Supporting Ah-Bian?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
December 2, 2008

Why is Annette Lu supporting Ah-Bian? This is a question many people are asking themselves. A week ago, at an evening rally, Annette Lu expressed solidarity with Ah-Bian. She openly challenged Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Tsai Ing-wen, telling her that "If you disown Ah-Bian, you must accept the consequences!" A week later, Annette Lu traveled north and south, backing Ah-Bian to the bitter end. She rationalized her conduct by saying she was not supporting Ah-Bian, but rather the human rights of 23 million people. She called on the DPP not to disown Ah-Bian. She said this was a matter of both friendship and right and wrong. Alas, Annette Lu's notions of right and wrong and friendship, are clearly far removed from that of most people.

The Chen family's illicit gains have already increased from the wryly termed "Cape 700 Million," to nearly 3 billion. This figure will only increase, not decrease. Just how much does the Democratic Progressive Party owe Ah-Bian? Hasn't the Democratic Progressive Party debased itself enough on Ah-Bian's behalf? When First Son-in-Law Chao Chien-ming's part in the Taiwan Development Corporation scandal came to light, the Democratic Progressive Party refused to distinguish between right and wrong. But if it had, how could the Chen family have gotten away with transferring vast amounts of cash into their official residence and overseas accounts? DPP officials were myopic enough to shield Chen. As a result, the Chen family decided it could get away with murder.

Say for the sake of argument that the Taiwan Development Corporation scandal was the responsibility of his son-in-law alone. What about the controversial Second Financial Reform scandal? Holding companies fell over each other gaining access to Ah-Bian's official residence. If DPP officials still had consciences, they would have stopped or discouraged Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng. In which case the Second Financial Reform scandal would not have brought down so many holding company heads. When the Second Financial Reform scandal erupted, Wu Shu-chen went on television and said "If they wish to pay their respects, how can I refuse?" Chen Shui-bian meanwhile, pretended to be outside the loop. A few years later, business heads were shuttling in and out of Chen's official residence. Chen Shui-bian even held banquets, at which he covertly or overtly hinted that industry heads should be forthcoming with "contributions."

Three years ago, Chen Shui-bian was party chairman. Year end legislative elections were looming large. Chen Shui-bian may have used a shortage of election funds to "request" contributions. At the time there were no political contribution laws. Limiting corporate political contributions was difficult. But would any conscientious political leader have collected campaign contributions at his official residence?

Ever since its founding, the Democratic Progressive Party has characterized itself as a political party struggling against poverty. The Chen family has secretly accumulated three billion NT. Is all of it really Chen family money? Chen Shui-bian's daughter Chen Hsing-yu once screamed in apoplexy, "Which DPP official has not taken money from my father?" As DPP chairman, Chen Shui-bian has indeed injected considerable sums into the Democratic Progressive Party's coffers. But if these sums were political contributions, they should have been spent on Democratic Progressive Party election campaigns. They do not belong to the Chen family. Are Democratic Progressive Party members' heads really filled with mush?

Whether the 30 billion in Chen family accounts were embezzled funds must be verified by the legal system. But those who have had financial dealings with Chen family members, or with the heads of Chen family dummy accounts, are also individuals involved in business deals with the Chen administration over the past eight years. These business deals include mergers and acquisitions of holding companies, sales of land, even the featherbedding of government officials. Does the DPP really consider this morally acceptable? Even now, some business heads feel compelled to say, "Is it a mortal sin to give a few gifts?" Giving gifts is normal. But who gives gifts worth tens of millions, even billions of dollars?

When the Red Shirt Army gathered on Ketagelan Road, that was when the Chen family began transferring funds. They transferred cash overseas. They even transferred cash into a specially built vault. The official residence was widely believed to contain a special vault for cash. The Chen family dismissed it as an absurd rumor. But in the end, all the rumors about the Chen family have proved true. If Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng were innocent, if their consciences weren't bothering them, why did they take such pains to conceal their transfers of cash by using ordinary suitcases? Does anyone actually believe Wu Shu-chen and Chen Shui-bian's cover stories?

Annette Lu served as Ah-Bian's deputy for eight years. Although Ah-Bian once hailed her as "the best assistant he could ever want," she endured plenty of humiliation. The chemistry between Ah-Bian and Annette Lu was never very good. During their first year, Ah-Bian halted construction on the Fourth Nuclear Plant. Some demanded Ah-Bian's impeachment. Annette Lu complained that the public might have good reason to impeach Ah-Bian, but why me? Later she complained that she was a "woman spurned in the imperial court," or an "alien from the planet Mars," forever outside the loop. One controversy followed another. Even the renovation of the vice president's official residence led to controversy over her mahogany furniture.

During their campaign for a second term, the unsolved 319 Shooting Incident erupted. Annette Lu bit her tongue, but implied there was more to the case than met the eye. Even on March 19, Annette Lu was unwilling to believe everything Ah-Bian said. So many witnesses have come forth, and so much material evidence has been uncovered about the Chen family money-laundering case. So why is Annette Lu still defending Ah-Bian, in the name of "friendship" and "right and wrong?"

The DPP's support for Ah-Bian has cost the party dearly, and left it seriously weakened. Does the Democratic Progressive Party still have a future? A new life? It depends upon how it handles the Chen family corruption scandal. Annette Lu served as Vice President for eight years. She has probably reached the apex of her political career. If she isn't willing to think about what's good for herself, she should at least think about what's good for the Democratic Progressive Party. Don't let the Democratic Progressive Party sink along with Chen Shui-bian!

中國時報  2008.12.02

呂秀蓮為什麼要挺扁?這是很多人的疑問。一星期前,呂秀蓮在聲援扁的晚會上,直接點名民進黨主席蔡英文,「要切割就要自己負責!」一星期後,呂秀蓮更南北 趕場,挺扁到底,她為自己開脫說,她不是挺扁,是挺兩千三百萬人的人權;她呼籲民進黨不要與扁切割,因為這是「有情有義,大是大非」。遺憾的是,呂秀蓮的 情義與是非,顯然和多數人相去頗遠。

扁家周邊弊案已經從海角七億,滾到近卅億,數額只會更多,不會更少。民進黨對扁的情義少嗎?民進黨對扁的是非還不夠錯亂嗎?如果扁婿趙建銘台開案爆發時, 民進黨人肯堅持大是大非,扁家能像滾雪球般往官邸、海外匯款搬現金嗎?部分民進黨人護短式的挺扁,結果就是讓扁家毫無顧忌。

就算台開案是扁婿之事,至少二次金改之際,輿論沸沸揚揚針砭其弊,金控集團爭相進出官邸,如果民進黨人還有點良知,阻止或勸誡扁、珍,二次金改豈會讓所有 的金控企業主捲入這場官司?二次金改各種傳聞甚囂塵上時,吳淑珍還公開上電視澄清說,「他們要來拜訪我,我能說不嗎?」陳水扁則一派置身事外之狀,事隔幾 年,結果是不但吳淑珍放任業者進出官邸,陳水扁甚至在餐宴場合,公開暗示或明示業者可以捐輸。


別忘了,民進黨從創黨以來到現在,都還是一個叫窮的政黨,扁家私藏卅多億,難道都是扁家的錢嗎?陳水扁女兒陳幸妤曾經發飆大怒,痛責「哪個民進黨人沒拿過 我爸的錢?」沒錯,做為民進黨主席,陳水扁確實給了不少民進黨公職資金挹注,但那些錢如果是政治獻金,本來就是要作為民進黨人選舉用的,而非扁家的,民進 黨人腦袋難不成真裝了漿糊?

扁家這卅億鉅款,是否真為「貪汙所得」,還需要嚴格的法律界定,但是,與扁家有資金往來,乃至扁家人頭戶,都是在這八年中與扁政府有各種業務往來者;從金 控併購到土地買賣,甚至酬庸官銜,就講最基本的道德吧,民進黨人能接受嗎?到現在都還有企業主無奈地問,「企業送點禮,是大罪嗎?」送禮稀鬆平常,但有誰 送禮是以千萬,甚至以億計的呢?

紅衫軍反扁聚集凱道聲勢最旺的同時,正是扁家開始搬錢之際,不但海外匯款開始轉移,甚至還有現金搬進金控保險室,當時盛傳官邸有個房間專擺現金,扁家斥為 無稽。結果,所有扁家駁斥之事,全部成真,如果扁、珍自信無錯,毫不心虛,需要這樣大費周章地拿旅行箱搬現金嗎?陳水扁和吳淑珍的辯詞,還能相信嗎?




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