Saturday, June 21, 2014

All sorts of corruption, but who is actually being punished?

Suhua views

Today offered contrasting corruptions. First, Ex-Chiayi County Council Yu Cheng-ta skipped out on his prison sentence...(TaiwanNews)
The 53-year-old's guilty verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court on May 22 for soliciting a bribe of NT$1 million (US$33,000) from local businessmen in 2007 when the county organized street fairs for the Taiwan Lantern Festival that year. In the final verdict on the case, the court gave a sentence of 10 years and four months with a suspension of civil rights for five years. His jail term was set to begin June 6, but Yu did not show up.
What? A criminal convicted of corruption skipped out on his prison sentence? Who could have predicted that? It's not like it hasn't happened ten thousand times before. Where is Lo Fu-chu? Where is Wang Yu-yun? The list of such individuals is long, and the gov't has been stalling about a law for this for years. So disgusting sarcasm just fails. It's not only the politicians but the System itself that is corrupt.

WantWant China Times, the rabidly pro-China paper, today published a mournful commentary entitled Hung Ching-tai Scandal Spells End of KMT Election Hopes on the KMT chances in the 2014 elections, thanks to the corruption investigations that are hitting KMT-run local governments, the latest being Keelung...
Huang was planning a bid to become Keelung mayor in the year-end elections and the domino effect from his arrest will influence all other KMT-ruled cities and counties, prompting voters to cast their vote for other parties, which will will likely see the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) become the biggest winner in the seven-in-one elections.


President Ma's focus on the image of the KMT as "incorruptible," may very well be his party's downfall, as it has been used to back corrupt Keelung mayors, such as former mayor Hsu Tsai-li and incumbent Chang Tong-rong.

Nearly all of Ma's closest KMT allies and subordinates have been indicted, arrested or convicted for corruption, including Miaoli county magistrate Liu Cheng-hong, Nantou county magistrate Lee Chao-ching, Changhua county magistrate Cho Po-yuan as well as Chang, which has undermined the president's image.
Yada yada yada. It may have an effect but it won't be very strong. Voters in Taiwan have no trouble voting for corrupt politicians, and it is normal that in any given period any number of local KMT politicos are under investigation or being convicted of something or other. It is merely background noise to the local election process, since there is an endless stream of local faction politicians to replace them. Imprisoned politicians are one of the costs of doing business for the local factions...

Far more important will be the infighting at higher levels of the KMT and the incompetent, arrogant, indifferent performance of the President, who is also the KMT party Chairman. If Ma makes another strafing run at Speaker of the Legislature Wang Jin-pyng, who was the subject of a bruising political battle last year (search MaWangMess), that will do far more damage to the Party than corruption investigations. According to critics, the KMT has apparently moved to make sure the judges rule the way the KMT wants them to, which implies that Ma is going to go several more rounds with Wang. Let's hope he decides to move before the November local elections.

But the real corruption? Is it in the second police assault on the Executive Yuan protesters? The first merely involved fists. This second one involves using the law as a club.... Taiwan Voice posted this on Facebook. Click on Read More to see the whole sad story.

Taiwan Voice

171 Sunflower Movement and antinuclear activists handed over to the prosecutor's office
According to the police, 171 anti-CSSTA activists were swiftly handed over to prosecutors yesterday. Meanwhile, the investigation of state violence has been moving along at a snail’s pace. During the Sunflower Movement and the antinuclear movement, the police abused their power when responding to the non-violent demands. In fact, the police actively targeted the protesters for peacefully expressing their opinions. After three months, the police are still unable to identify the individual police officers who used excessive force on protesters, despite the fact that the police collected the evidence themselves, recorded the entirety the incidents, assigned tasks during the incidents, scheduled the duty roster, and had each individual officer sign in on duty sheets. Somehow, the collection of identities and actions of anonymous, peaceful protesters has proved much more easy for them to acquire. (
According to Apple Daily’s report, yesterday, the Taipei Police Department completed their investigation of protesters during the Sunflower Movement for possible offenses. The offenses investigated included interference with public functions, offenses against public safety, offenses against personal liberty, extortion, inciting people to commit crimes or to infringe laws and orders, and violation of assembly and parade act. In total, 171 people are being transferred to the prosecutor’s office after the police investigation. 37 of them are students.
The investigation follows the actions during the course of the Sunflower Movement and anti-nuclear movement. Actions are listed as follows:
- Occupation of the Legislative Yuan on March 18 (
- Occupation of the Executive Yuan on March 23 and 24 (
- Protesters’ actions during police evacuation on March 24 (
- Obstruction of Zhongzheng First Precinct on April 11 (
- Anti-nuclear protesters occupation of Zhongxiao West Road on April 28 (
- Anti-nuclear protesters blocking traffic on Zhongxiao East Road on April 29 (
- Sit-in protest in front of Taipei City Hall for anti-eviction of historical building Losheng Sanatorium, and the threat to block MRT traffic on May 9 (
Taipei police named each investigation by the date of the incident, including March 18 which denotes the occupation of the Legislature by the the anti-CSSTA students where some property damage occurred. However, the Legislative Yuan is dropping all cases against the students who took part in the 21-day occupation. During the police eviction on March 19, a number of students physically clashed with the police and allegedly interfered with public functions. The Executive Yuan is also pressing charges against the students for destruction, invasion, and other crimes during the occupation of the Executive Yuan on March 23. This is also the source for the most number of people being investigated.
Source: Apple Daily
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Mike Fagan said...

"After three months, the police are still unable to identify the individual police officers who used excessive force on protesters, despite the fact that the police collected the evidence themselves, recorded the entirety the incidents, assigned tasks during the incidents, scheduled the duty roster, and had each individual officer sign in on duty sheets."

Question 1: when was the last time police officers in Taiwan were arrested for something like that?

Question 2: what is the history of police officers being arrested by other police officers in Taiwan - in general?

The fact the police are a monopoly is alone good reason to believe that officers will rarely be punished for corruption or illegal acts of aggression. I'd bet they get away with all kinds of stuff - just as they do in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Sho said...

Good questions. Back in 2008 when Chen Yunlin came to visit, a student was dragged behind a line of police and got seriously injured. He won the lawsuit against the state and received only 10,000 USD for compensation. This is paid by the country.

But because of the difficulty to identify who exactly was the police that hurt him. So far no police was arrested for that. There is a documentary about 2008 incidents, called civil disobedience by Mimi Chen.