The party confirmed that Ma had invited his former top aide and deputy city mayor, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), to assist him with party affairs. King, currently a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is expected to return to Taiwan later this month.King is of Manchu descent [Correction: no, he's not] and grew up in Tainan. He speaks excellent Taiwanese. He was the former deputy mayor of Taipei and had headed up Next Media's TV venture. He holds a doctorate in journalism from Texas Tech.
“We expect Mr King to bring more energy to the KMT and initiate bold and creative moves to help with party reform,” KMT spokesman Lee Chien-jung (李建榮) said after the party’s Central Standing Committee (CSC) meeting.
King, 54, played a major role in Ma’s previous campaigns, helping him win the Taipei City mayoral elections in 1998 and 2001, and the presidential election last year.
He is said to be quite close to Ma.
There has been much speculation about King in the media, where he was accused of being narcissistic, and also nicknamed "little dagger" for his role as Ma's hatchet man. Many KMTers not in the Ma faction lined up against King, while his supporters said that King is a man of integrity just like Ma....which should tell you something. Taiwan News noted:
The director of the party's Chiayi City department resigned as a protest against King's appointment, reports said yesterday. The official later told reporters he was leaving his post because he had completed his mission, the re-election of the city's KMT mayor in the election. Party officials said they would try to persuade him to stay on.Resignations, criticism...the casuistry and casualties of Ma's struggle to bring the KMT under his control... another Taiwan News piece on King observed:
Media reported similar resignations of leading KMT officials in neighboring Chiayi County and in Yunlin County, allegedly as a reaction to King's appointment.
DPP lawmaker Lee Chun-yee said King was the wrong choice to head the party structure, because he would find it difficult to communicate with grassroots workers in Southern Taiwan.
Outspoken KMT lawmaker Chiu Yi described the new secretary-general as a "knife that is sharp, but not precise."
Li Keng Kuei-fang, a KMT member of the Taipei City Council, said King needed to work on his interpersonal relations.
Putting King in such a senior position in the party might bear risks, because if he failed, the failure would be associated with Ma, said KMT legislator Lee Ching-hua.
it is no doubt that King skilfully moulded Ma's image as a moderate, clean and charismatic politician despite the latter's lack of concrete achievements as mayor and played a the key role in the creation of Ma's presidential campaign slogan, "We Are Ready!"Several newspaper articles pointed out the alleged role of King. The mere fact that Ma has to appoint a hit man to enforce his will on the KMT says much about his role in it.
Ma evidently aims to use King as a "bad cop" to push out the KMT old guard and thus help the born-again KMT chairman promote party reforms which he had promised but failed to realize in his previous term at the KMT's helm from late 2005 to early 2007, including dealing with the KMT's illicitly acquired "party assets" and the KMT's notorious reputation for "black and gold" money politics.
UPDATE: Don't miss a couple of great comments below.
- Local media carries tale of how female soldiers flash tits, give finger, in photos. Yes, it's important news, almost unknown in the world to date, that young females like to show off their looks and look tough in poses. Tune in next week for tale of how dozens of new recruits each slept with Tiger Woods.
- New study says India is cradle of Asian populations. No doubt this will cause Beijing to claim the whole country, instead of just one state (longer version in Chinese).
- Latest Taiwan What's Up is out.
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