Saturday, September 22, 2007

DPP Trio Indicted

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. The Taipei Times reported that DPP heavies Annette Lu (the Veep), Mark Chen (many positions of power), and DPP Chairman Yu were indicted yesterday for the common practice of substituting false receipts for expenditures from the special funds:

Spokesman for the Supreme Prosecutors Office's Special Investigation Panel Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) yesterday told a press conference that Lu, Yu and Chen were charged with corruption and forgery.

Prosecutor Chen alleged that between December 2000 and May last year Lu used a total of 1,005 fraudulent receipts to claim reimbursements from her special allowance fund.

Chen added that the receipts, collected by Lu's office staff and security guards, amounted to NT$5.6 million (US$170,000).

Prosecutor Chen said that Yu used the same method to claim reimbursements from his special funds between October 2000 and December 2005 during his time as secretary-general of the presidential office and premier.

Yu used a total of 516 receipts from others to claim NT$2.3 million Prosecutor Chen said.

Mark Chen used a total of 106 receipts from others to claim NT$368,000 between July 2004 and June last year while serving as minister of foreign affairs and secretary-general of the presidential office, the spokesman said.

Prosecutor Chen said prosecutors found that Hsieh did not use other people's receipts to claim reimbursements from his special fund while serving as Kaohsiung mayor and premier.

Su was also cleared.

The comedy of indicting DPP heavies for receipt falsification, while letting Ma go for actually downloading real money into his accounts, will no doubt strike many. In Ma's case the judge was just 26 years old and a diehard KMT supporter. It will be interesting how the System deals with this, since receipt forgery is a commonplace in the System here. Note that the prosecutors have not charged them with actually stealing money. The news was reporting this morning that DPP Chairman Yu has resigned, as he had promised he would if indicted.

Stay tuned. The party has just begun.


Raj said...

But maybe more importantly the Presidential duo won't face charges either - that's important for them.

eighty said...

Well I was going to point out the obvious on whom is the most corrupt of them all (Hseih) but in your closing paragraph you (quite gullibly) actually state that you subscribe to the belief that Ma (embezzled funds) was stupid enough or even had 1 molecule of motive to risk damaging the impeccable clean image he has built over the years to take money illegally that everyone one else in government has took legally since Chiang.

Your glorious "fa-dai" stare whilst echoing the DPP zombie chant - "Ma is corrupt" Ma is corrupt" is like a China Veto in the UN. - Why should I or anyone try to explain how Hseih is the most corrupt of the entire cast of DPP clowns under Bozo's big top when it will go in one Turton ear and right out the other with "Ma did it!" slobber all over it. You DPP lovers can’t see the forest because theirs too many trees in the way.

The Most corrupt people of all are those that have corruption tentacles so powerful that absolutely nothing can ever become pinned on them - they become "Teflon dons". That’s why the Kaoshiung scandal, the receipt-gate scandal and everything else that Hseih was governing through miraculously and with superhuman perfection did not do as much as move an arm hair out of place on Hseih. Its like the dude walked across a 10 lane expressway blind 100 times and never got hit – and miraculously Su did also. What I read in the papers is Hseih and Su are the only government executives that were playing Santa Claus while in office, from day one , the money they had been given as plainly as all others are given they did not touch and with utmost papal reverence they deliberately declined the funds that was theirs and they were also the only 2 employees to meticulously tend to receipts, fanatically making such a task top priority in their duties governing the citizens of Taiwan.

Im sorry Michael, I just cant understand why you continue to bash a political party that has not been in power for over 7 years while ignoring the “in your face” obvious incompetence of another political party that HAS been in power the last 7 years??

You and the Ben Goren’s of expat Taiwan have this grand statement that is repeated over and over and over again that makes absolutely makes no sense….

“The KMT under Chiang was corrupt therefore Ma is corrupt, Siew is Corrupt, all KMT is corrupt, once corrupt – always corrupt!”

Under such bizarre reason and logic your meaning is since my father fucked my mom that means im a motherfucker! Really!

I dont care how nice Ralph says you are, and hey, you probably got a heart of gold and are one hell of best friend to many but I see M.Turton as a lost soul with a proud resignation from the troublesome detailing work involved in understanding Taiwan’s political tapestry. You just kick back, rest on what others tell you they see in a really big picture and you make it your war cry.

Wake up brah!
Trace, Taipei

Michael Turton said...

Trace --

Nowhere have I said Siew is corrupt. Not once. Ma is obviously corrupt but not because he downloaded government funds into his account -- I knew he was corrupt even before that.

I know you must hurt that even the profoundly Blue prosecutors office couldn't find anything on Hsieh or Su. I doubt, in the end, anything will stick to the three indicted today either. If they didn't convict Ma, who has been downloading money into his account for years, they can't convict the three indicted today either.

The whole thing is a joke, trace. Indicting Ma or Lu has no real meaning, the really corrupt people are the 200 guys running the farm associations that the KMT is protecting by preventing reform of the cooperatives, the dozens of former businessmen and politicians who have escaped to China thanks to the corrupt police force -- which cannot be reformed.....the corrupt judiciary, the system whereby both parties abuse their positions for party and personal gain... the whole system stinks.


Anonymous said...

Come on, Ma is an idiot (be honest, he is too straight), that's why he got caught. Acutally, you cannot even say he got caught because he reported that he deposited the special fund to his personal account. Btw, I am not arguing Ma is clean. However, I can comfortably said no one is cleaner than Ma in the current Taiwan politic. Although, I am seriously worry that he is an idiot because how hard is to pass a bar exam. I know someone who I will never hire as a lawer passed that.

I know you must hurt that even the profoundly Blue prosecutors office couldn't find anything on Hsieh or Su.

Now this is a piece of green propaganda. Wait, did I say propaganda? Do you know almost all DPP memebers was or in theory still KMT memebers (including Chen, Su, even Hseih) if that's your bases on the prosecutors and judges are pro-blue.

Michael Turton said...

However, I can comfortably said no one is cleaner than Ma in the current Taiwan politic.

Really? Who in the current situation sent his college friends off to be murdered by the KMT? But that's what Ma appears to have done.

Annette Lu dirtier than Ma? Lin Yi-hsiung dirtier than Ma? Mark Chen dirtier than Ma? C'mon. I can even think of a few New Party fanatics who are cleaner than Ma. Even Li Ao, who got his start as a black market racketeer, is cleaner than Ma.

The prosecutorial offices and judiciary's political leanings are pro-Blue -- that is the opinion of all observers, Arty. It has nothing to do with party membership. Or former party membership.

Taiwan's judiciary is a serious mess. Send me an email and I'll forward you a good article by Brian Kennedy on it.

Tommy said...

The point is, if Ma is not guilty for misusing special allowance money, something that he admitted that he DID in fact do, then neither of the DPP leaders who were indicted this week should be guilty either. And anyone who puts too much thought into these corruption allegations this time can only look like a fool.

Actually, Ma should have been found guilty (and given a minor penalty that he could easily get his way out of) because what he did is obviously illegal, whether everyone does it or not. In fact, everyone who has misused their special allowance is guilty.

My 2c on this discussion: Trace, your comments are childish. Rather than use facts to back up your argument, your whole comment amounts to: "I shouldn't have to explain myself. Hsieh is obviously corrupt." You also seem to overlook the fact that the KMT has a reputation for its corruption that goes back since well before the war. What was it that made them lose the respect most of the population of China again?

And I agree with Arty about the fact that Ma got caught because he was cleaner than average. But then again, I think the reason he got caught mirrors the glee that the blue camp takes in chiding Chen for being corrupt when he rose to power with a clean image. Everyone likes to say: See you are dirty too.

Anonymous said...

opinion of all observers, Arty.

So I am not a observers? I watch Taiwan political show on Youtube. Only the green side believes that. I can give you a name who doesn't believe it, 陳文茜. That's why she is giving out names of all the DPPs who still in theory haven't officially left KMT. Btw, that includes your dear Taiwan president and vice president.

Who in the current situation sent his college friends off to be murdered by the KMT? But that's what Ma appears to have done.

No so familiar with this story but do you mean alleged? That's means you can't prove it or haven't been proven. Now that's kind of like a "propaganda."

Annette Lu dirtier than Ma? Lin Yi-hsiung dirtier than Ma? Mark Chen dirtier than Ma? C'mon.

Annette Lu - definitely.
As for last two, not so sure. However, they are very close to Chen. I will say YES? Isn't Mark Chen used to be a citizen of US or still is. You have to be a citizen to work in the US federal government :). Owned.

Taiwan's judiciary is a serious mess.

No kidding. It is a mess because DPP keep saying they are pro-blue :). The judiciary has rule in favors of both the green and the blue. You think I can't read the news.

Anonymous said...

Trace, Arty, fucking foreigners (sorry, this really is a cultural thing and if you were Taiwanese you really would have a better understanding). Do you know what the worst part of the Ma scandal is?

Give you a clue. That he had money left over at all. Yep. Being a politician in Taiwan, a (for the most part) respected public figure includes attending tons of wedding, funerals, hospital visits, banquets-because-I-felt-like-it, of your supporters (and quite of few of those who aren't). Maybe in an ideal world, politicians just sit around and think about the big picture, but this is Taiwan, and the leaders of the society are expected to PERSONALLY be essentially social leaders, maybe in the way some of your Christian pastors or priests may be. That means that of all the politicians in Taiwan, Ma is the only one that has any left over money at all in his discretionary account because normally, the number of red envelopes and white envelopes that you have to handout to everyone is so numerous you are taking stuff out of your OWN SALARY to cover attending these social functions.

What does this say about Ma? He either doesn't give a damn about prevailing culture, is really stingy, or both.

By the way, Ma is a dirty motherfucker when he thinks it will meet his ideals and I will point to a few examples:
1) When interviewed about spying for the KMT, he once claimed that since he was on a KMT scholarship, he felt obliged to "give back". He denies that shit now, but he made a clear admission to spying on Taiwanese in the democracy movement in the US, a story that is also corroborated by Vice President Annette Lu.
2) When Taiwan was democratizing, he was strongly opposed to direct elections. Good to see he now has a different view of that, seeing as now he's a participant. But what a douche bag.
3) While claiming that the KMT is poor and has no party assets left (last anyone knows, it was around $6 billion... it's not that high now, but they won't reveal how much is left!), he goes around telling his candidates not to accept campaign contributions and "central" will take care of you. Uh... XYXYX?!??!! So 1) KMT has plenty of assets and it's affecting election outcomes, contrary to Ma's high-voice protests 2) there is no clear democratic mechanism for how KMT assets are being spent, meaning rather than lots of people giving middling amounts in an attempt to influence the election (a characteristic of democracies worldwide), we have one party controlled by a central standing committee that mainly consists of waisheng and rich families with huge amounts of money that can influence an election. Think about how small of a media market Taiwan is compared to the US. Think about how far a few million here and there that they are spending goes. THAT is scarier than ANY lobbyist Washington has ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Trace, Arty, fucking foreigners (sorry, this really is a cultural thing and if you were Taiwanese you really would have a better understanding).

I was born and raised in Taiwan until age of 16. I think I know your culture. I am probably more Taiwanese than Michael for example. It seems that you have to resort to personal attack and used f word to make your point :). It speaks so well for your pro-green camp.

Anonymous said...

1)A lot of the handing out of red envelopes at banquets by politicians is not some nice gesture demonstrating a politician's generosity. It's an exchange where he/she hands over a thin red envelope and receives a thick red envelope in return.
2)...he goes around telling his candidates not to accept campaign contributions and "central" will take care of you...
It's easier to corrupt an individual than an organization, and being taken care of by "central" is similar to the DNC and RNC's role in the US.
3)...rather than lots of people giving middling amounts in an attempt to influence the election (a characteristic of democracies worldwide)...
Your tone makes this seem like a good characteristic of democracies worldwide when in fact it's one of democracy's most problematic. Like you said, people give small amounts in an attempt to influence elections. In reality it's a vain attempt in the face of the millions contributed by larger and ultimately more influential entities.
4)...we have one party controlled by a central standing committee...
How is this different from the DNC or RNC in the US?
5)...that mainly consists of waisheng and rich families with huge amounts of money that can influence an election....
First, why do greens always feel the need to create social discord and label people "Waisheng?" Are "Waisheng" not Taiwanese as well?
Second, again, how is this different from the DNC or RNC in the US?

Anonymous said...

Trace and Arty are trolling, so I'm not going to bother.


A few responses:

1) Red envelopes. It's not my experience (eh, well, close observation). You'd get something token for doing the wedding, but just coming? I've never seen that. Remember that you always give, and that you only get for doing the actual wedding. White envelopes for sure is a big expense with no payback. Overall, for a politician, it's a huge expense, which is what the special fund originally was for.

2) The DNC and RNC are very democratic structures that actually have very little power. Political initiatives rarely have their beginnings in the party structure and almost always are from democratically elected officials--the president, senate leader, house leader, governors, etc. Of course, a huge difference is that the KMT has huge amounts of money to dole out to keep people in line.

3) I think the whole problem of waisheng is that they exist as an identity people willingly identify with and perpetuate. Why aren't they just one particularly large group of immigrants? If it was an identity that was first Taiwanese and second some kind of cultural/ethnic thing, I think most Taiwanese could accept that. But if they want to cast everyone else as so-called "Han Chinese" (a very modern term and concept, despite what they say about 5000 years of Chinese history) and they support a nationalist China, then I think everyone will rightly attack them because they are not compatible with a democratic Taiwan identity accepting of cultural influences from many sources. Taiwan could be accepting of many identities and cultures, but I don't think you would expect the US to accept an identity that would essentially ask for the elimination of its core democratic values and unity as a nation.

Also, I'd like to point out that the root of the split between waisheng and bensheng is that the Chinese KMT dictatorship made sure it mattered that you were either. It mattered when you wanted all sorts of candy-sweet government jobs and getting into the best universities--in American terms, it was reverse affirmative action (can you believe it?!) for the newly come waisheng. The KMT to this day, after creating this class of waisheng through good old clientelist politics now runs around districts with retired waisheng soldiers telling them the DPP comes into power and they'll be forcibly shipped back to China. The breakdown in voting in Taiwan for bensheng is 60% DPP 40% KMT and waisheng is 10% DPP 90% KMT. You accuse the DPP of playing the ethnic politics card, but I'm really curious at just who is playing ethnic politics and who it's really benefiting.

joshuach said...

I've come across this blog now and then when searching for information related to Taiwan politics or news and I have to agree with trace that the gist of the blog is always the same ... that the KMT is corrupt and should be hung out to dry while the DPP should be lauded as the infallible heroes of democracy.

Anyway, that's not really any news to people who have read your blog Michael and I'm not writing this comment to necessarily condemn you nor other DPP supporters but rather to point out some of my reservations about English-speaking DPP supporters in general and their sometimes bewildering adherence to this doctrine of victimization by and hatred towards Waishengren.

First I have to say that, personally, it's a bit eerie to see non-Chinese foreigners originate such passion and vehemence against the KMT through a relationship with a Taiwanese girlfriend. It must be some kind of "white knight" mentality.

Second, my experience with DPP supporters, especially here in the US, is that their message is often an emotional rant against the KMT often bordering on the hysterical. In college, I've had the unfortunate experience of sitting through a lecture given by a pro-DPP teaching assistant who, on the verge of tears, gave a very one-sided rant about the evils of the KMT and it's supporters. This same university harbored a pro-DPP student organization that pushed this same position every February 28th with a propaganda display on the student quad. Now, I know what happened on that day and I do not deny the culpability of the KMT but what I objected to was the use of that stage to not just promote awareness of a terrible event in Taiwan history but to leverage the emotions aroused from such a display to push an agenda against the present KMT and its supporter . Not only did I find it reviling on an intellectual level but I was also affected personally at the time in that a pro-DPP friend decided that his politics were more important to him than his friendships; which brings me to my next point of contention with the DPP camp.

It seems to me that a central DPP sentiment and agenda is to dehumanize and demonize KMT and waishenren and to foment an artificial, contemporary, discord between the two groups. The same university I attended 10 years ago and which I described in my last paragraph no longer has an active pro-DPP student organization but now has a unified group consisting of blue, green, and even red student members; each with a keen interest in cross-straight and ROC issues. I think the dialogue fostered from this type of organization is much more conducive to disseminating real information and to enacting real change. In fact, this organization will host a group of ROC college students who are touring the US under KMT scholarships in the next couple of weeks.

And last, Michael, I want to point out that not every waishengren is a faceless fascist. My grandfather was a party member for over 60 years and he and his brother sacrificed much for his country (ROC). Although his party and military ties did help him secure a livelihood others could not have, he worked like a dog but wholeheartedly gave back to his community throughout his entire life; notably, by taking in exiled and homeless refugee students, building Taichung government buildings, building homes gratis for refugees, and even here in the United States through organizations and services for the Chinese community. I've had the privilege of meeting KMT members and supporters, especially from the older generation, who hold a high standard of ethics and civic morality that I intend to honor and mirror throughout my own life.

I think the history of ROC on Taiwan is difficult for someone on the cultural and historical periphery to really grasp well enough to disseminate information in any responsible manner to a foreign audience...especially from someone radicalized towards one side. As someone who has a KMT AND a Taiwanese heritage (my mother is Taiwanese) who has grown up in the US, I think you should be more responsible in your portrayal of Taiwanese society and politics.