Meanwhile, the SIP’s colleagues over at the Bureau of Investigation have been hard at work tracking down the profligate and the venal. The latest suspect is Chen Tsung-yi (陳宗逸), news desk head at the defunct New Taiwan Weekly, a pro-independence magazine.Yesterday Chen Tsung-yi sent around this email, in which he talks about how he was questioned, and also threatened with charges for attempting to videotape events.
What we cannot understand is how a “corruption investigation” would prompt the bureau’s staff to allegedly probe Chen Tsung-yi’s knowledge of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), a Washington NGO that serves as an advocate for Taiwan, about the North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association or whether Chen had studied overseas.
With these various incidents, the perception that public institutions are prone to incompetence and/or serving partisan interests can only harden. Those with the dreadful, direct experience of harassment by security forces in previous decades will also react to Chen Tsung-yi’s allegations with outrage and fear. This fear — rational or otherwise — can only be compounded by Chen Tsung-yi’s claim that all four of the agents who entered his home were Mainlanders.
The details of the last incident need to be verified, but for now, it appears that Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) is in danger of seeing yet another discrediting incident call both her leadership and the conduct of her investigative staff into question.
帶頭的打哈哈 說現在是民主時代 台獨不是問題
但是他一直好奇問我 為什麼我知道FAPA 和北美台灣人教授協會
他開始說 你知道的還蠻多的 是不是有留學外國
今天 在台灣民主化、獨立化二十年 結果變成中國化的今天
我認為 整個戲才開始上演 是戰鬥的時刻了
Is this a trend? Hard to say. The brilliant thing about Leninist political systems -- and here I refer to organization, not political slant -- is that the ideology that drives them, and the party structure, both interpenetrate deeply into every aspect human life. This is true of all Leninist organizations, from the Communist Party of Russia, to the KMT, to the Nazi party, which subscribe to Leninist organizational structures though having a different ideology from Lenin himself. Adherents/victims in such systems experience its ideology as supreme in all facets of life, and know how to behave in a given situation because they have internalized that ideology as their own identity -- a number of scholars have nailed this in observing the "quasireligious" nature of the KMT. So when four mainlander officials, presumably Blues of some sort, enter the house of a prominent Green to conduct a search, did the topics of connections to overseas organizations come up as the result of orders from above, or as the inevitable result of a certain mentality, a certain mode of thinking, inherent to the Blue identity? This just shows how hard it will be to root out this type of thinking.
The Taipei Times report on the case did say that Chen said the investigators called their office to discuss FAPA:
During the search, Chen said the agents talked on the telephone with what seemed to be two superiors and mentioned the US-based pro-Taiwan group Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA).
“I asked them what FAPA — an overseas civic organization that promotes Taiwan independence — had to do with a corruption case. The leader said he could not reveal details about the investigation and that promoting Taiwan independence was not an issue since the nation is a democracy,” Chen said in the e-mail.
He added that the lead agent continued to ask about FAPA and another US-based pro-independence organization, the North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association.
“Suddenly I realized that the purge by prosecutors and the Investigation Bureau is now looking at overseas pro-independence groups and I was searched because my uncle has long served as FAPA chairman and executive director — in other words, I think this [search] was a warning to me,” Chen wrote.
If we get more cases like this, then we can call it a problem. Except that the well-known commentator Paul Lin also had an experience...from the same Taipei Times article:
Meanwhile, political columnist Paul Lin (林保華) penned an article in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) on Wednesday in which he said police from his local precinct had come to his house for no reason.
Paul Lin said he suspected the visit had something to do with recent articles he has written on police abusing their power and disregarding human rights.
Do we have a problem yet? Maybe...or maybe it is just a certain mentality at work -- which means, in the end, that if we don't have a problem now, we will at some point. Keep in mind that the details of these cases have to be verified. Until then, I leave you with the Taipei Times' dismissal of the local judiciary:
Welcome to Taiwan, folks.
It may not rank among the most substantial news stories of the year, but yesterday’s decision by the Kaohsiung District Court to refuse an adoption request by an American couple for a developmentally disabled Taiwanese girl was a stunning example of how Taiwanese justice can resemble a drunken crap shoot.The would-be parents, whose excellent educational credentials proved to be their downfall, can appeal, but for the rest of us the real question is what caliber of people are being appointed to serve as arbiters of the law.
The court effectively said that the couple, both Harvard graduates and doctorate holders, were at risk of abandoning or otherwise mistreating the child because she was likely to fail to live up to their expectations.