Su Jia-chyuan's Next Stop:
The Presidential Palace, or the Special Investigation Unit?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
November 2, 2011
Summary: Su Jia-chyuan's corruption scandals have erupted in rapid succession, one after another. There seems to be no end to them. During this election, the DPP has a new task. It cannot allow Su Jia-chyuan to be inundated by corruption scandals. Otherwise Tsai Ing-wen and Su Jia-chyuan will be crushed. Therefore the DPP must back Su Jia-chyuan to the hilt, even though corruption scandals have already made him non-viable. If they don't, Su Jia-chyuan will not pass muster, Tsai Ing-wen will not be be elected, and the DPP will not regain power.
Full Text Below:
At election rallies tall, dark Su Jia-chyuan looms over petite Tsai Ing-wen. This contrast applies not just to their bodily appearance. It applies also to their personal character.
Tsai Ing-wen is petite. Obviously she cannot block out Su Jia-chyuan. Tsai Ing-wen has been referred to as "cute." How can she dispel the dark clouds of suspicion surrounding Su Jia-chyuan's personal character?
Su Jia-chyuan's corruption scandals have erupted in rapid succession, one after another. There seems to be no end to them. During this election, the DPP has a new task. It cannot allow Su Jia-chyuan to be inundated by corruption scandals. Otherwise Tsai Ing-wen and Su Jia-chyuan will be crushed. Therefore the DPP must back Su Jia-chyuan to the hilt, even though corruption scandals have already made him non-viable. If they don't, Su Jia-chyuan will not pass muster, Tsai Ing-wen will not be be elected, and the DPP will not regain power.
Does the DPP truly Intend to bury Su Jia-chyuan's crimes under a mountain of ballots? Can it successfully whitewash Su Jia-chyuan's crimes via the ballot box? In short, suppose the DPP wins. Will that prove somehow that Su Jia-chyuan's actions were proper and legal? Does the DPP truly intend to turn Su Jia-chyuan's personal character into the new political and moral standard for politics on Taiwan via the ballot box?
Su Jia-chyuan has turned this election into a tug of war over political and moral standards. The DPP believes that someone of Su Jia-chyuan's character is qualified to be Republic of China Vice President. But critics argue that if someone of Su Jia-chyuan's character is qualified to be Republic of China Vice President, then Taiwan's political arena will have no standards to speak of.
The Su Jia-chyuan family's corruption scandals have already been exposed for the world to see. They include misusing public land for Su family gravesites, misusing agricultural land by building luxury mansions on farmland, allowing his older brother to pave over agricultural land with concrete and turn it into a Night Market for the past 20 years, allowing his maternal cousin to operate an illegal gravel business, allowing his wife to rent space in bootlegged buildings, and allowing his sister in law to build a luxury mansion on farmland. These scandals are currently only a matter of public perception. But any one of them could turn into a criminal case at any time.
When Su Jia-chyuan declared his assets, he touched off an even greater crisis. Auditors discovered that the Su family's insurance policies, investment funds, and mortgages required payments amounting to 750,000 dollars a month, or 9 million dollars a year. His wealth was astounding. But he has no explanation for how and where it was acquired.
An even bigger shocker was to come. No 281 Zhongxiao Road in Pingtung City is three five-story townhouses. They were completed after 1994. Su Jia-chyuan is believed to have used it for social gatherings, including gatherings of the Shui Dang Dang Fan Club. The buildings has no columns or beams. It is believed therefore that it was custom built according to his specifications. These gatherings went on for 14 years, until 2008, when Su Jia-chyuan left office. The builder then "transferred" it to Su Jia-chyuan's two grown daughters. As for the price, Su allegedly paid 6 million dollars, took out a loan for 6 million. He paid half the market price.
This townhouse was also the gathering place for the Coconut Grove Foundation. The foundation is headed by Su Jia-chyuan's wife. All of its directors are former civil servants. They include the Pingtung County Chief, Bureau of Construction Chief, National Tax Administration Chief, and Bureau of Cultural Affairs Chief. Suspicions are unavoidable. Did County Chief Su establish foundations, submit bids to the county government, use public funds in the name of his foundation to sponsor "public" activities? Did he use public funds from the county treasury to bolster his own reputation? The foundation directors were all high ranking officials in the county government. Was the government in bed with business? Did the two have a black gold relationship? Such suspicions are unavoidable. No wonder outsiders have demanded that the Su Jia-chyuan Foundation open its books. Yet Su Jia-chyuan had the chutzpah to stipulate, "subject to board approval." All we need is one look at the fantastic and absurd roster of board members.
Su Jia-chyuan's appalling string of scandals is likely to result in criminal prosecution. Yet the DPP insists on standing behind such an individual. Su Jia-chyuan could become Vice President of the Republic of China. The DPP has no qualms about making someone like Su Jia-chyuan vice president. It has no qualms about subverting the standards political leaders on Taiwan ought to have. After all, if the vice president can do such things, why can't others?
Can you get away with illegally constructing a luxury mansion on agricultural land? The Vice President can. Can your older brother get away with paving over agricultural land with concrete and using it as a night market for 20 years, all the while charging "electric light fees?" The Vice President can. Can you as county chief get away with dismantling other peoples' bootlegged buildings, while allowing your wife to rent out space in her own bootlegged building? The Vice President can. Can you as county chief get away with openly appointing the National Tax Administration Commissioner to the board of your foundation? The Vice President can. Can you get away with purchasing a townhouse completed by the builder 14 years ago, yet "reserved for you," at half price? The Vice President can.
If a majority of the voters oppose this appalling subversion of political and moral standards, then Su Jia-chyuan will not pass muster in this election. Even assuming Tsai and Su emerge victorious, they will not succeed in their political and moral subversion. Tsai Ing-wen and Su Jia-chyuan will not squeak by. Because such a vice president will be incapable of commanding public respect.
Furthermore, the vice president is not exempt from criminal prosecution. Will Su Jia-chyuan's next stop be the Presidential Palace, or the Special Investigation Unit?