Monday, July 31, 2006

Taiwan's First Family: Clueless

Someday I'm going to write an article for the Journal of Educational Methodology entitled "Human inability to learn from experience." My case in point is going to be the First Family of the Beautiful Isle.

Another scandal involving the Chen family broke today as it was revealed that A-bian's daughter and her husband, the illustrious Chao Chien-ming, he of the influence peddling scandal, were getting their maid paid for by public tax dollars.


The First Family gives yet another example of its privileges. Although the First Couple moved out of the Official Residence a long time ago, the maid at the Min Sheng Road house, A-ching Sao (originally Lin Hsiu-chen), for the past six years has received an official salary from the President's Office, using the hard-earned money of the taxpayers to help the President's daughter and her husband hire a servant.

Never mind the slanted presentation full of loaded language -- it's a KMT paper, so you can't expect good journalistic standards. No, the real problem is the issue itself. Not only was this precisely the sort of shit that should have been cleaned up the very second the Chao scandal broke -- where was the aide who said "Do we have any other skeletons in our closet?" and ran them all down -- but it is exactly the kind of thing that the public hates -- rich people skimming money from the public coffers, money they could easily afford to pay themselves. It doesn't matter that everyone in Taiwan would behave in exactly the same way, that cheating the government here is the national pastime. When you are bound to be a target, you have to make sure that you are as bulletproof as can be. And Chen didn't.

If someone competent were running the show, the maid would have been put on a (much higher) private salary for the next two years. If someone competent were running the show, the spin would have already been in place (hint: public funds were used because the maid for the Prez's daughter is a national security matter). If someone competent were running the show, the Chen family would have exposed all this shit themselves. And if someone competent and morally on the ball were running the show, it never would have happened in the first place.

Expect more howls, and howls of laughter, from the Blues. Chen is handing them victory after victory. Great work, team DPP.

UPDATE: this has happend before with someone involving Chen's wife, and Chen moved as soon as he found out. According to the Taiwan News:

Another controversy involving President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his family surfaced yesterday following a media disclosure that a close friend of First Lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) was listed on the payroll of the Taipei City Government for four and a half months when Chen was mayor.

The Presidential Office later confirmed that while the woman was indeed listed on the city's payroll, Chen gave instructions to have her taken off almost immediately when he learned of the arrangement at the time.

The woman, Shih Li-yun, was hired as an employee of the city's rapid transit system from December 1994 to April 1995 after Chen won the mayoral election in 1994, the United Daily News claimed yesterday. Secretary-general of the city government at the time, Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井), gave instructions to hire Shih when a vacancy opened up in the rapid transit department, the report said.

Shih, an old friend and neighbor of Chen and his family when they lived on Min Sheng East Road, became the top aide to the first lady after Wu was paralyzed from the waist down in a vehicular accident in Tainan County in 1985.

Following Chen's election as president in 2000, Shih, who became known as "Mrs. Lo," could be seen pushing Wu's wheelchair every time the first lady appeared in public.


Chewycorns said...

Another milestone for the Presidential Office!!! One doesn't have to hate the DPP to hate the incompetent "boy scouts" so involved in the day-to-day runnings of the PO.

People with big egos (Chen) often surround themselves with less-capable people. Unfortunately, when scandals break, these same people "suck" at damage control.

Michael Turton said...

No shit. I can't believe how badly the PO is run. They can beat the KMT, but, apparently, their own arrogance and incompetence.

Kai Xie said...

Michael, I enjoy your blog immensely. I'm a mainlander living in the states over 10 years now, I have a Taiwanese girlfriend. I find Taiwanese politics fascinating, I can't imagine what Chinese politics would look like when it becomes democratic. Given taiwanese history of last 300 years, I am sympathetic to the pro-independent movement, although I think it maybe strategically and realistically unviable, and Chen's ego and incompetence certainly isn't helping.

Sergio said...

Sorry!Kai upstair,we voted so we have the right to criticize our president.People in China do not have the right to say anything about our our democracy.
By the way, you're not a mainlander,you're a Chinese,maybe an U.S. citizen.You don't live here so mind your own BZ.