It’s Not a Donkey. It’s a Horse!

Sometimes, I just like to read the news, avoiding to react immediately.

And more than once within a week, we can see connections between some of them.

This week is no exception.

Anyway as usual, most of the news concern ECFA, the link between Taiwanese administration and China, the connections between the underground world and politics and finally of course, justice.

One of the big news (but not “new”) is the connection between politicians, the police and gangsters and the late example is Taichung.

For my readers who do not live in Taiwan, here is the point (sources HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE):

[…]

Four police officers were at the crime scene when gang leader Weng Chi-nan died in a shower of bullets in central Taiwan’s Taichung City May 28

[…]

You may ask yourself what those officers were doing at the crime scene: investigating? Arresting? Protecting? As any police officer is supposed to do?

Wrong.

[…]

The four police officers were reportedly playing mahjong there and hid under a table when Weng was shot

[…]

Unbelievable…

Any serious punishment? No.

And the chief of the police in Taichung tried to cover up the presence of the four officers. Finally, he resigned yesterday.

It is a well known fact that gangsters are linked to local politics and KMT (the party in power) since a long time (see the article from AP in Yahoo News – in the above sources).

And those links show no sign of disappearing anytime soon.

But of course, elections are coming, so the Taiwanese administration must plays some PR games, by sending police commandos (41 officers) to Taichung.

After a while, everything will be as usual forgotten and life will return as it was before.

The only ones facing tough punishments and prosecutions are the members of the opposition party (DPP).

See, one example among so many (HERE):

[…]

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday urged prosecutors to seek lighter punishment for a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator who was barred from leaving the country for allegedly pocketing salaries paid to legislative aides during his tenure

[…]

The Legislative Speaker… not a small potato…

So what did the Speaker offer as an excuse?

[…]

“He might have violated the law because he did not understand the regulations,” Wang told reporters at the legislature. “I hope prosecutors can take this into consideration when dealing with the case. He did not intend to pocket the money.”

[…]

Beautiful!!!

Taipei prosecutors said Kwan suspiciously used four relatives’ names to claim NT$4 million in payments for legislative aides during his two terms. He might also be accused of corruption and forgery, they said.

But still, the Speaker asked from the prosecutors, a lighter punishment.

Obviously when one is facing justice in Taiwan, it is better to be a member of the KMT than the opposition party.

About the ECFA, the Chinese position is very clear and published in all international news: the ECFA is a step to unification.

But the Taiwanese administration is saying that it is only about economic.

Who can believe that?

See all the changes in Taiwan since 2 years: Taiwan is becoming closer and closer to China.

One example?

All countries are condemning North Korea after a special investigation (conducted by international experts, not only by South Korean) found evidence accusing North Korea.

But China, the only strong ally of North Korea refused to join.

And guess what: Taiwan, in line with Beijing’s response, did not condemn North Korea either.

Are you surprised?

More:

Reports (HERE) said that a horde of retired military officers, led by former Admiral Huang Hsing-chiang, arrived in China to play golf with former officers of People’s Liberation Army.

And of course, they will only talk about golf…

The funny (?) thing is that only Ma and his administration consider that nothing changed and the ECFA will be the road to the Taiwanese heaven.

Ma and the KMT told to the people that the ECFA will allow Taiwan to sign FTA’s with other countries. So Taiwanese should not be afraid of signing this ECFA.

Except… (HERE, HERE and HERE)

[…]

In an official overture, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu (馬朝旭) told a routine press briefing on Monday in Beijing that China “strongly opposes any official ties in any format that Taiwan might develop [with other countries], although it is not against any unofficial trade ties between Taiwan and China’s diplomatic allies.”

[…]

China has revealed its true colors. One more time.

How did Ma and his administration react?

They said that whatever the Chinese’s position, they will sign FTA’s with other countries.

Unbelievable.

They want to let the Taiwanese believe that other countries will not be afraid of the Chinese reaction…

They totally refuse to admit the evidence.

Even if they see a donkey, they will deny: “it’s a horse!” 😆

Obviously, Ma et al. have an agenda…

Many economists and experts worry about the consequences of the ECFA on the Taiwanese economy.

But Ma and his administration is obviously in a hurry to ink the trade pact and therefore buries its head in the sand whenever this question is raised.

Moreover, as it is already the case (I forgot where I read it), Taiwanese goods can only enter into Chinese clearance with a place of origin recorded as “Taiwan, China”.

Taiwanese companies worked very hard and the “Made in Taiwan” is now recognized as a synonym of quality, while the “Made in China” brings images of bad quality, and dangerous products. What will happen after the ECFA is signed? Anymore “Made in Taiwan”?

Beside, the Taiwanese economy since 2 years is not improving at least at the public finance level (HERE and HERE):

After two years of President Ma and his KMT administration, government debt has exploded by more than NT$700 billion.

And the government is seeking now to amend the law to relax regulations for the debt ceilings of central and local governments…

Obviously, the government’s claim that the reduction of gift and business income taxes and a trade pact with China would boost domestic investment and increase tax revenues is apparently a lie: if tax revenue was supposed to increase, why does the government need to increase the debt ceiling?

Moreover, is the government hiding facts or manipulating statistics?

[…]

Ministry of Finance statistics show the government’s public debt is forecast to reach NT$4.6 trillion at the end of this year, accounting for 35.2 percent of GNP — only 4.8 percentage points from its debt ceiling.
However, Chien Hsi-chieh (簡錫土皆), another AFTR spokesman, accused the government of hiding the truth from the public by falsifying accounts of its debt, saying that the real situation was far worse.
“Taiwan’s public debt actually accounts for 116 percent of its GDP, or NT$15 trillion, based on an estimate of the statistics center at the legislature,” Chien said, adding that it is almost double the 60 percent debt ceiling set by the IMF

[…]

If the above figures are correct, debts represent about TWD 750,000 (about USD 24,000) per Taiwanese citizen, including babies…

Will Taiwan become the Asian Greece before being unified to China?

As asked in one of the above sources: is Taiwanese administration a fool or a fervent supporter of the Greater China ideology?

In other words: it’s not a donkey. It’s a horse!

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,,,

Taiwan: Big Brother Is Listening

Some articles caught my attention this week (HERE and HERE).

We all emphasize on privacy, but not all may escape from authorities:

Between 2007 and September 2009 government agencies requested 2.3 million call records (mobile and land-line) and user information for 3.5 million phone numbers.

Of course if the point is to fight criminals, it could be justified.

But still…

2.3 million call records: if we suppose that 1 phone record represents 1 person, it means that roughly 10% of the Taiwanese population were concerned…

It is equivalent to 70,000 call records per month, compared to 25,000 per month between 2002 and 2006: +180% increase!

Wow!

Among these requests, almost 80,000 ended with wiretaps (eavesdropping), said roughly 6,700 per month…

Interesting statistics, don’t you think so?

 

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,

Taiwan: Still It Is Not My Fault (Again)

Many times, M. Ma was accused as the former mayor of Taipei or as the actual president of Taiwan (not only for breaking the law).

Usually, scapegoats were found and even one went to jail.

Today in the news (HERE), we learnt that a pharmaceutical company, China Chemical & Pharmaceutical Co (CCPC) was fined TWD100 million (more than USD3 million).

Why?

Simple: from 2001 to 2004, this company sold directly or indirectly drugs to Taipei City Municipal Hospital for an amount of TWD140 million (about USD4.5 million).

Uh… What is the problem?

Again, simple: this company violated the law by making business deals with the city government while the mayor of Taipei was a member of the Deputy Manager’s family.

Who was the mayor of Taipei at that time?

M. Ma.

Who was the Deputy Manager?

The oldest sister of M. Ma.

I have some naive questions:

  • Are these activities covered by criminal laws? Logically yes. If yes, will this former Deputy Manager be convicted?
  • To make any deal, two sides are needed. What’s about the other side, I mean Taipei City?
  • Will only the company be fined and manager(s) convicted?
  • Will Taipei City Hall be involved too?
  • Will the mayor at that time be involved (convicted) too?
  • Or will a scapegoat be the culprit? (did you say as usual?)

Oh, I know what you are thinking about.

M. Ma, when he was the mayor of Taipei, did not know that her sister sold for more than USD4 million of drugs to the City Hospital.

So, he has nothing to do with that story.

And maybe an obscure civil servant in Taipei City Hall will need to worry right now.

😆

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,

Taiwan, Justice and Civil Servants: How To Dispatch Employees

Sometimes, I am questioning the logic of some situations.

In today’s news (CNA), the ministry of Justice (Wang Ching-feng) complained about the fact the ministry doesn’t have enough employees to legally recover outstanding taxes by businesses and individuals.

Do you know how much?

More than 400 billion of Taiwan Dollars!

It means more than 12 billion of American dollars!

Can you believe it?

Among the tax defaulters, there are 168 people who owe more than 100 million Taiwan dollars (more than USD 3 million) each.

And that is not just for this year, but since a while.

But obviously, the ministry had enough employees for the former president.

And today (HERE) the ministry wants to look into allegations by former president Chen Shui-bian’s attorney that Chen was an “agent” of the US government.

The former president a spy… Moreover, a spy from America! Whoah!

The ministry has enough employees for that…

Beside, the THSRC (high speed train company) created during the former president time will also be investigated.

Obviously, the ministry (KMT?) wants to purge anything linked to the opposition party (at least that is the feeling one could get from outside).

So much energy on it…

But none is put to recover more than USD 12,000,000,000 (USD 12 billion) outstanding taxes.

Some people will ask why nothing is done about it.

If you owe TWD 10,000 you got all the problems.

If you owe TWD 300,000,000 and if you are the friend of the friend of the friend… you are more relax.

I don’t say it’s a fact. I just say that it’s what from outside we could think.

For some activities, the ministry has enough employees.

But for others (which seem more useful for the country), it is lack of.

Is it logical?

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,

Taiwan: Double Standards Or No?

The trial of the former president, Chen, has been transferred to the higher court for the appeal.

The 3 judges designed yesterday had to decide about letting Chen in jail or freeing him.

They chose to keep him in jail.

I really do not understand. Some others, convicted at the first trial are still kept free.

It really looks like (from outside) there is a double standards when it comes to justice.

How can he prepare his defense?

Beside, what’s about the Council of Grand Justices decision on whether the move to change judges during the first trial was unconstitutional?

So many months and still nothing…

But maybe it’s normal (?).

According the today’s Taipei Times, Shen Lyu-shun has been accused of involvement in an embezzlement scandal during his term as head of Taiwan’s representative office in Geneva from 2003 to last year.

[…]

The comments came after the latest issue of Next Magazine alleged that Shen, currently Taiwan’s representative to the EU, embezzled more than NT$4 million (US$123,000) by inflating office rent figures to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) during his term as head of Taiwan’s representative office in Geneva from 2003 to last year.
The magazine reported that Shen forced the landlord to sign a forged contract showing an inflated rental agreement and sent the forged contract to Taipei.
The scandal was discovered by MOFA last year, and Shen received two demerits as a penalty, the magazine said.

[…]

I have no details about this case (and the article does not mention any legal action related to it) , but the accused at that time, was under the supervision of the ministry of foreign affair (MOFA) as all Taiwan representatives abroad.

What is his new position now?

He is the new deputy minister of foreign affairs.

If his case is still under investigation, it’s quite strange that his new post consists among other tasks, in overseeing MOFA operations.

So if the MOFA is in charge of the investigation (in case of any), as the deputy minister, he will investigate himself?

And by the way, do you remember the case of Diane Lee and her double nationality status?

Strange situation or wrong questions?

Beside, there is a referendum this week end to decide if casinos will be constructed in Penghu or not.

If I well remember, 50% of the potential qualified voters must cast their ballot according the law, otherwise the referendum is not valid.

Again, if I have well understood, the case concerning the casinos will be different.

The majority of the voters is enough, even if only 3 voters cast their ballots (?).

What I am sure is that when the legislators made the casinos legal (if the result of the referendum is positive), the ruling party (KMT) controlled almost all the seats.

Any link?

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,

Taiwan: A Taiwanese 9-11? Update

With an update at the end.

Yesterday, CNA wrote:

[…]

Ex-president Chen Shui-bian and his wife Wu Shu-jen were both given life sentences and fined NT$200 million (US$6.13 million) and NT$300 million respectively after being found guilty by the Taipei District Court Friday on corruption, forgery and money-laundering charges.

[…]

More details about all the convicted people and their sentences HERE.

In case you didn’t follow these legal cases and/or forget their context, Michael Turton published this morning a very good post with statements from Dr. Michael Stainton, (President of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada), the DPP and the FAPA.

All these statements provide a quite complete picture of the situation.

Very interesting.

From outside, it is quite easy to understand why people feel so perplexed.

When Ma Ying-jeou (the actual president and chairman of the KMT) was accused by the prosecutors of  misappropriation of his special allowance when he was Taipei mayor, the cases was handled by the same judge (Tsai Shou-Hsun) who sentenced yesterday the former president, but the verdicts he handed down yesterday were quite different: Chen was given a life sentence, while Ma was acquitted on graft charges in 2007.

Never Ma stayed in jail. But the former president, yes.

Elections will be hold later, all around Taiwan and more specifically, in Hualien.

One KMT candidate (I don’t know if he changed his mind or not) [see HERE], has some “legal dispute”:

[…]

Fu was indicted on Feb. 2, 2000, for illegally speculating in Taiwan Pineapple Group stock in 1998.
In 2003, the Taipei District Court sentenced Fu to six years in jail, fined him NT$150 million (US$4.5 million) and deprived him of his civil rights for four years.

Fu filed an appeal with the Taiwan High Court and on June 11 the high court sentenced Fu to four years in jail and a fine of NT$20 million.

Fu appealed again.

[…]

We are not talking about a small amount.

As far as I know, Fu did not stay in jail. But Chen yes.

Beside, the local chapter of the KMT considered that he still could run the elections…

I do not remember the details but in another case,  Soong, the chairman of the PFP party (ally of the KMT) was convicted few years ago about a case concerning more (?) than 200 millions of USD (not TWD…).

As far as I know, he was just sentenced to pay taxes on it. That’s all.

Soong didn’t stay in jail. Chen yes.

As in the statement from Dr Stainton about the former president Chen Shui-Bian:

Guilty by verdict, but not by evidence.

Yesterday was September 11.

Does this date rings any bell?

Will the yesterday events change anything?

********UPDATE********

Following one comment, I realized that the title and conclusion of this post could be misleading.

When I mentioned the 9/11 event, I was not of course implying that Taiwanese should do here the same that terrorists did in New York, killing thousands of people, destroying families for ever.

Of course not!

I was thinking about how American (and others) started to react following the 9/11 tragedy, by changing their way of thinking and trying to change things too, to avoid that this tragedy could even occur again.

According my understanding, it was a large and vast move, among people.

Maybe the Obama effect is one of these moves.

I am against violence. It must be very clear.

To be more clear, I was in my post, suggesting that after the yesterday court decision, maybe people will start a vast move in view to react, as it was the case after the tragedy I mentioned above.

Or maybe people won’t.

But I deeply believe in democracy and the only one way a large move could occur is through elections.

Obviously, I should be more cautious and precise in my writing and I will in the future.

If I hurt someone, I deeply apologize.

 

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,,

Taiwan: A Vendetta?

The daughter of the former president of Taiwan, Chen Hsing-yu was prohibited (again) from leaving the country after being questioned by prosecutors on June 22 in connection with alleged perjury, which has hampered her plan to study in the United States.

Directly or indirectly it doesn’t matter, she asked to not be barred of leaving the country. She is supposed to go to USA for study purposes.

According the CNA news today (HERE), she even provided support to her claim she is not flying away:

[…]

She had filed a petition of appeal to the prosecutors’ office, calling for removal of the travel restriction by promising prosecutors that she would hand over her passport to Taiwan’s representative office in the U.S. upon arrival and would report to the representative office everyday, as well as return to Taiwan periodically.
Chen Hsing-yu also stated that she was willing to leave her three children in Taiwan to show that she has no intent of absconding from the country.

[…]

So many KMT members were indicted and convicted but never banned to leave the country but… they did.

This woman is not accused of corruption or whatever, but of perjury…not convicted but just accused by prosecutors. All legal specialists know that it is almost impossible to prove perjury in the court…

No way to compare with previous people convicted by the court but never put in jail…

So what could people think?

Not only the former president is jailed since last year without to be convicted but obviously all his family is under the hammer…

Sure, not good in our days to be an opposition member, or to be a family member of the former president, or to express opinions not approved by the party in charge…

And even the spokesman Henry Chen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) who has nothing to say about the case according his position, said today:

[…]

I find this (her request) totally unbelievable

[…]

What do we need to add?

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,