Saturday, April 02, 2011

In which President Ma once again is incompetent, and disses the Public for pointing that out

Politically, the President of the Taiwan people, now the extremely capable Ma Ying-jeou... -- from a recent report on US-China relations by individuals with business connections to China, which blames US arms sales rather than Chinese expansion for tension in the US-China relationship.

The jarring disconnect between the praise of US-based analysts for the competence of KMT President Ma Ying-jeou, and the perception here in Taiwan of Ma's performance, was once again thrown into sharp relief this week.

First came the report written above by several well-known US analysts, several of whom have business connections to China, which describes Ma as "capable." Meanwhile, here on earth, Ma once again demonstrated to the public his twin virtues of incompetence and arrogance. The case also shows how underlings take the fall here -- remember when Ma was busted for downloading government funds to his private account, and then an aide went to prison? But not him.....

It seems that Ma nominated for the Council of Grand Justices (the Constitutional Court) Supreme Court Judge Shao Yen-ling (邵燕玲)....
Shao caused a stir last year when she overruled a Taiwan High Court verdict in a sexual assault case on the grounds that the court could not prove a three-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted against her will because she had not resisted strongly enough.
The case caused a ruckus at the time over "dinosaur judges" and will hopefully lead to changes in the law. I expect the judge's intention in this bizarre ruling was to call intention to the outmoded law, though I do not know of any statement from Judge Shao or anyone else to that effect.

It seems incredible, though, that this nominee's prior case history was unknown to the vetting committee. Do they not have Google in the Presidential vetting office? The Taipei Times noted in an editorial:

Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), who led the task force that came up with candidates for the four grand justice seats that will be vacant in the fall, said his group spent 18 days drawing up a list of 32 potential candidates and short-listed nine of them for Ma, who then picked the final four. Both Ma and Siew have apologized for Shao’s nomination, although the president said on his Facebook page that he did not learn about the controversy surrounding Shao until Thursday morning.

Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) hedged when pressed about how Shao’s name made it onto the shortlist and whether Ma had been aware of her ruling that aroused such outrage. It’s hard to believe the denials given the Presidential Office statement issued on Sept. 25 last year, when thousands of people rallied in front of it on Ketagalan Boulevard in a protest organized by the “White Rose Movement” against incompetent judges. Ma had heard the movement’s call, the statement said, and would push for the swift passage of a draft bill to regulate the certification, performance and ethics of judges, as well as tougher penalties for child molesters.

The Judicial Yuan chief said he was aware of the case but not fully cognizant of the weight of public opinion. He stated that his goal was to find a qualified female nominee.

Ma of course disavowed all knowledge of this case, and poor Vice President Siew was paraded out to claim that President Ma had not been properly informed and to offer an apology.
Siew, who led the task force responsible for examining the nominees’ qualifications, also joined Ma at the press conference yesterday and apologized again for failing to provide sufficient information to Ma.
President Ma himself, not to be outdone on the apology front, offered the public this apology, vintage Ma, delivered through gritted teeth. It reads like a non-apology apology and contains a subtle put-down of the public:
“I want to apologize again for the nomination process … The process was not thorough because we only considered the nominees’ expertise and integrity. The government should never break away from public opinion and social perception,” Ma said in a press conference at the Presidential Office.
Note how this makes a sharp distinction between the government's process and the public's vetting of the nominee: We stand by this judge who was objectively qualified. Your objections are simply a matter of opinion and perception. STFU and quit interfering in the process with your illegitimate opinions! We "only" considered the expertise and integrity... that "only" verges on nasty sarcasm.

Any way you parse it, Ma will take a hit for this lunatic choice. The DPP had a field day, of course. You have to wonder whether the announcement that 36,000 documents had gone missing under the previous DPP Administration was timed to blunt the impact of the politically inept move of appointing this particular judge to a high seat.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Thomas said...

I like how he unintentionally equates "integrity" with the passing of rulings that let child molesters off the hook.

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is how, in Taiwan, the concept of "public opinion/mob rule" is selectively embraced and rejected.

In this case Ma is arguing for the independence of the judiciary from being swayed by public opinion. In the case of Chen Shui-bian, much of the "due process" was guided by pleas to appeal to "public opinion".

Jenna said...

oy. While I applaud appointing women to positions of power (or better yet electing them), this is the WRONG move. This is as anti women's and children's rights as it gets.

Anonymous said...

I don't think legally there is a good reason for this. We have underage sex laws because older individuals with more cunning and resources may often fleece or coerce those in their teens who are still in formative stages and whom much harm will be done if they are hurt.

But for someone 3 years old? To treat that in the same bucket as someone 15? And say that you need more proof than the little girl's testimony that she said "no" in order to prove the the sex was coerced? Ridiculous...

Okami said...

What I want to know is who was the guy who got off for molesting a 3 year old, was he the first/only son and who is his family in the KMT hierarchy. If that wasn't a quid pro quo, I'll eat my hat.

Herman said...

Some conclusioins here!

... let child molesters off the hook...
This is as anti women's and children's rights as it gets... that she said "no" in order to prove the the sex was coerced? Ridiculous...

Do people posting blogs and comments here actually have direct knowledge of the case? Or do they just come to their conclusions based on what they read in blogs and newspapers? Are they sure about the accuracy or wholesomeness of those information sources?

"In which President Ma once again is incompetent, and disses the Public for pointing that out"

Mr. Ma is incompetent? May I suggest an Aesop's fable for your information.

There was a pond in which lived many frogs fairly comfortably. One day they got some ideas and decided to go to Zeus and asked for a king to rule over them. Zeus consented and gave them an olive branch. "That is your new ruler," said Zeus. The frogs went back happily with the big stick. But after awhile they came back to Zeus again. "Please, my lord, we don't like the new ruler. He can't do anything. Can you give us another King instead?" Zeus looked at them. "Hmm, yes, I can give you another King." And he gave them a snake. Now this snake sure can move about and do many things, including eating a couple of frogs now and then. Sure enough the frogs soon realized what they've got this time and wasted no time to go back to Zeus again. "Please, mighty Zeus, the snake-king is worse than the olive branch. Can you not give us a better one than either of those?" the frogs begged. Zeus's face turned crimson. "You ungrateful lout! A ruler was what you asked. A ruler is what you get." And promptly sent them back to the pond with no new king.

Aesop was an ancient slave and wise. The blogs and comments in The View from Taiwan are intelligent and modern. Maybe it's time to square the modern views against ancient views and see if you can't iron out some, well, differences.

greg said...

maybe the united states is quite happy to see ma walk right into china. peaceful, clean, and gets america of the hook.

Thomas said...


You are probably right. Ma must have nothing to apologize for, which is why he did it again today and why even blue papers such as the China Post are calling it a blunder. I am sure that, if we just knew the nitty-gritty details of the case, we would know how molesting a 3-year-old is justifiable under the right circumstances.

Meh! Pick your battles more wisely, Herman. I doubt you will get a sympathetic ear over this one.

Anonymous said...

"Herman said...
Some conclusioins here!"

I agree with you 100% Herman!

Some people here think they are wise and Pres. Ma is incompetent.

Boy what a Big , Big claim!

And if these people do really believe their own beliefs then we can call in the clowns!

Or a green psychiatrist! LOL!


Anonymous said...

Jorge said: And if these people do really believe their own beliefs then we can call in the clowns!

...Following right after the trolls.

Anonymous said...

"...Following right after the trolls.

11:07 PM"

Har Har Har!

These smarter than Ma geniuses wouldn't be here in Traffic Paradise country if they really are what they claimed they are!

One would be led to believe that their brilliance landed them here!

Har! Har! Har!


Anonymous said...

Jorge - Just curious...

What are "they" claiming to be, exactly?