The funeral of a leading Taiwan crime figure is expected to attract more than 20,000 people, including senior politicians and members of Japan's mafia, organizers say.Funerals of major crime lords attended by major politicians -- that's normal. Presidents have attended gang funerals here. And who can forget Wang, Soong, and Ma Ying-jeou His Ownself showing up at the wedding of Yen Ching-piao's son in 2006?
Lee Chao-hsiung, who died of liver cancer last month at the age of 73, will be laid to rest on April 26 in Taichung in the biggest funeral in years for a member of Taiwan's underworld.
The mayor of Taichung, Jason Hu, who is a former foreign minister, will also be at the funeral.
An assistant to legislator Yen Ching-piao [see post below this one! -- MT], a member of the funeral organizing committee, said at least 20,000 were expected to attend the ceremony.
Parliamentary speaker Wang Jin- pyng and Liao Liao-yi, chief secretary to President Ma Ying-jeou, are both listed as members of the same organizing committee, the China Times said.
ESWN quotes a Sina.com piece on the seating arrangements -- not enough room, so each gang sent 300 of their most imposing members, all neatly dressed.
After I wrote yesterday's piece a friend flipped me this CNA report on an enterprising gang in Tainan that also mixed religion, politics, and organized crime. A member of the Bamboo Union gang, it appears, set up a Buddhist Temple in Tainan, and made another gang member the temple director. The deputy speaker of the city council was honorary head of the organization he set up. The organization used the establishment as their base for debt collection, engaging in violence and other illegal actions. Eventually the police busted up the operation.
Someday I am going to be able to write a post on Chinese culture as a "two worlds" society, where nearly every formal system (schools, lottery, banks, firms, politicians) is mirrored by a corresponding gray one (cram schools, Mark 6,underground banks, organized crime gangs, crimelords).
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