Friday, November 28, 2008

Knowing When to Do Something and When To Do Nothing

Knowing When to Do Something and When To Do Nothing
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 28, 2008

The global financial crisis has been followed by a serious recession. The world's governments are resorting to various policies to prop up their stock markets and to save their economies. At home and abroad, a number of unprecedented policies to prop up the stock market have emerged, all of which sound reasonable. With so many unprecedented packages to rescue the market and the economy, we hope that in addition to pursuing timely interventions, the government knows when to do nothing.

Policies to save the economy can be divided into several types. One type is cost effective, i.e., low in cost, high in effectiveness. Another type cost ineffective, i.e.,high in cost, low in effectiveness, or time sensitive. The worst type is high in cost and utterly ineffective, or worse, high in cost and counterproductive. One should implement the first type as much as possible. One should implement the second time when necessary. One should never implement the third type, ever. Otherwise, one will visit disaster upon one's children and grandchildren.

Cost effective policies are hard to come by. But they do exist. When certain banks experienced a run on their deposits, or even problems with liquidity, Premier Liu promptly announced that all bank deposits would be fully protected. This immediately restored financial stability. This was an example of not spending a single penny while achieving the government's policy objectives.

Cost effective policies must be implemented at the systemic level. One must not simply throw money at the problem. The government is supposed to work through the system and make improvements, reducing operating and transaction costs, thereby boosting the economy. A few days ago the G-8 announced housing market rescue measures. Most of thse involved systemic reform, such as the simplification of administrative procedures to reduce transaction and operating costs. Such policies are cost effective and reliable. Other cost effective and reliable policies include relaxing restrictions, introducing foreign capital, foreign investment, and even foreign personnel.

The second type of policy includes the recent consumer voucher policy. It cost over 80 billion NT, a huge investment. It may boost the economy. But when one considers the public cost against the benefits, it is unlikely to increase economic growth as forecast by the Council for Economic Planning and Development.

Furthermore, the first wave of policies have already been launched. The second wave involves increasing domestic demand. The first wave cost over 60 billion NT. The second wave will cost an estimated 400 billion NT. The cost is immense. To boost the economy, the cost of public works is what it is. There is no alternative. It is highly effective. Moreover, Taiwan's infrastructure remains inadequate. To vigorously promote pubic works during an economic downturn is an opportunity to provide a sound infrastructure at low cost. Therefore increasing domestic demand deserves our support.

The first problem is time sensitivity. If the government can not improve its administrative efficiency, if it cannot completely prevent corruption in the procurement system, these expenditures will not rescue the economy and will not be effective. The second problem is the proper allocation of funds. From the perspective of boosting the economy, money spent is presumed to be well spent. But from the perspective of the taxpayers' hard-earned money, government funds must be spend with discretion. They must not wind up as loot divided among corrupt politicians and vendors.

Other policies such as the National Stabilization Fund, the four funds to support the stock market, and the securities transaction fee cuts, are clearly cost ineffective and should be avoided. The National Stabilization Fund has already been implemented. We are now riding the tiger. We must skillfully dismount. We must not stubbornly prop up the index. The securities transaction fee cuts are best quietly terminated or not implemented. The government must proceed from a systemic level, and not throw money at the problem in an attempt to prop up the index.

The final type of policy should never be implemented, ever. Such policies include increasing funding for the National Development Fund to the tune of trillions. One example is the attempt to rescue the DRAM industry. The government proposes investing hard-earned taxpayer dollars on sunset industries it is incapable of operating, yet hopes to resuscitate. This approach provides sweetheart deals to favored businesses and squanders the nation's wealth. It leaves one speechless. From an industry perspective, the DRAM industry is not so important that it would result in the death of our domestic IT industry. Moreover, DRAM industry-related companies have taken out loans worth hundreds of billions of dollars from the domestic banking system. Creditor banks can perform a supervisory function. They can take over these companies and and restructure them. There is no reason for the government to invest huge sums of money to save them.

Consider lessons from the previous administration. Decisions about which enterprises need to be saved and can be saved will be made by industry peers and the banking industry. They will make professional judgments and decisions. But once the public sector intervenes, then all sorts of problems arise. During Taiwan's homegrown financial crisis, decisions were made by whoever had the ear of those at the top, whoever had access to Boss Liu. Under Democratic Progressive Party misrule, such decisions led to the "Cape Seven Billion." Today it's DRAM. Tomorrow it might be flat panels or automobiles. The day after that, petrochemicals. How long must the government keep rescuing them?

Actually, the government has yet to intervene. We have already seen how DRAM related industries have adapted to survive on their own. PSC may sell shares to Rexchip Elpida. Formosa Plastics may make loans to Micron. Micron may acquire a stake in Inotera. The government may express concern for the plight of industry. It may help industries make breakthroughs. It may help revive them. But it must never take money from the state treasury and directly invest it in the companies. In order to rescue the housing market, the government is requiring banks to increase housing loans to 80%. It is even offering loan guarantees and business relief. The government ought to proceed with caution. In principle it ought to respect the professional judgement and decisions of the banking industry. It must not force bad debt upon banks. Otherwise the banking system will collapse.

In the face of severe economic recession, The government should do something. But we look forward even more to a prudent government doing nothing, in order to avoid even more serious consequences.

中國時報  2008.11.28




此類花費小而效益高的政策,必須多從制度面、少從「灑錢面」著眼。畢竟政府原本就可透過法令與制度的改善提升,達到降低「經營與交易成本」、提振經濟的目 的。以日前宣布的八大救房市措施而言,大部分屬於制度面的改變,簡化行政流程、降低交易與經營成本,應屬花費小而效益可期待之政策。其它如放寬限制,引進 外來的資金、投資、甚至人員,都屬這類政策。


另外,已推出一波,目前又推第二波的擴大內需政策,第一次花了六百多億元,第二波則以四千億為目標,花費非常大。以提振景氣效果而言,公共建設花出多少錢 就是多少,不會有「所得替代效應」,效益相當大;更何況,台灣基礎建設仍有許多不足之處,在景氣低迷時大力推動建設是「以便宜價格建構良好基礎建設」的契 機。因此,擴大內需絕對值得支持做。

但問題,第一在時效,如果政府無法提升行政效率、無法去除完全防弊為出發點的採購制,這些支出,只能說是緩不濟急,效益不大;第二則是錢是否花在刀口上。 雖然,站在提振景氣的立場,錢花出去就算數、就是有效,但站在善用民脂民膏的立場,政府還是有必要慎用經費,不要流於分贓式的建設分配。

其它如國安基金與四大基金護盤股市、減徵證交稅等政策,大致可看出是花費大而效益小者,能免則免。國安基金已進場,算是騎虎難下了,但要技巧的淡出,別再 硬拉指數、硬撐某個指數關卡;減徵證交稅則能悄然收場不實施最好。未來對股市,政府還是該從制度面著手拉抬,而非以灑錢方式護盤。

最後一類政策,則萬萬不可做,這種政策,以增加國發基金至兆元,要投入救DRAM等產業為代表。坦白說,政府拿民脂民膏投資瀕臨倒閉的企業,而政府又絕對 沒有能力經營,讓此企業起死回生,這種作法,除了圖利特定企業、浪費國庫外,實在難以找到其它形容詞了。再以產業面看,DRAM的產業關聯,絕對沒有重要 到倒閉會讓國內科技產業進入死境。更何況,以該產業相關企業在國內銀行體系數千億元的借貸而言,債權銀行團就可扮演監督、接管、重整的重任。政府絕沒有理 由、也不該投入鉅資去挽救。

更何況,從前朝的例子來看,哪些企業要救、能救,從產業同業與銀行團眼中,會有較專業的評估與抉擇,但一旦變成公部門行之,就變成弊端叢生。本土金融風暴 時,抉擇標準是誰上達天聽,誰攀上劉大掌櫃;民進黨時,看來就是「海角七億」在決定。今日是DRAM,明天是面板、汽車,後天是石化,政府要救到何時才 休?

事實上,政府還沒介入,我們就已看到DRAM相關業者就自行調整求生存,如力晶賣出瑞晶股權給爾必達,台塑借款予美光,新美光取得華亞科股權。對於企業與 產業的困境,政府可以關注、協助突破、設法起死回生,但絕對不能拿國庫的錢去直接投資入股。另外為救房市,要求銀行貸款成數提高到八成、或甚至某些成數由 政府信保基金保證、企業紓困機制等,政府都該審慎為之。原則上都該尊重銀行的專業判斷與決定,絕對不能「硬塞」爛債權給銀行,否則銀行體系將會崩潰。


Thursday, November 27, 2008

We Three: Real Life Beyond the Political Smoke

We Three: Real Life Beyond the Political Smoke
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 27, 2008

"We Three" is a documentary film produced by director Hou Hsiao-hsien for the Taipei City Labor Bureau. Next to a old wall on Heping East Road, Luo Mao-sheng stands next to his motorized coffee cart. He stands for up to 12 hours on his artificial left leg. This is how he makes his living. This is how he supports his wife who has glaucoma, and his visually-impaired son. He was once a business manager. He once sold lottery tickets. Now he sells coffee. He depends upon customers who patronize him partly out of charity. Luo Mao-sheng has endured setbacks. But every day he must think about how to make it through tomorrow.

This is the broad outline of "We Three." The entire family is physically handicapped. Yet they want to maintain their dignity by supporting themselves. Luo and his family do not complain about their fates. They do not accuse the government or society of being unjust. They merely struggle to make their way and help each other. In fact, "We Three" is not just about Luo Mao-sheng and his family. It is also a documentary about many workers on Taiwan. It may not be as entertaining or romantic as "Cape No. 7." But the half-hour documentary is well worth watching, particularly for politicians who have forgotten how real people live.

The global financial crisis has struck. Taiwan's economy is sunk in depression. The justice system is investigating the embezzlement of billions from the public coffers by a former president. Ruling and opposition party politicians are arguing about whether to support Ah-Bian and whether to issue consumer vouchers. The opposition party is repeatedly inciting the public to denounce the judicial system. The political atmosphere is charged with tension. The contrast with the quiet struggle of a roadside coffee vendor seems ludicrously ironic. For the past eight years a bitter confrontation has prevailed between Blue and Green. Politically, the public on Taiwan is utterly incapable of arriving at a consensus. There is no room even for the discussion of non-political issues such as economics. This is the saddest fact of all. When even life-saving measures such as consumer vouchers are deliberately obstructed, just how much does the hardship endured by ordinary citizens figure in the eyes of our politicians?

It's official. Taiwan politics is more and more out of touch with its civil society. Politics is less and less capable of solving the problems that confront individuals and society. Over the past decade, politicians have busied themselves "amending" the constitution, yammering about reform, engaging in partisan infighting, concocting a rationale for a "Nation of Taiwan." They have consumed most of the nation's resources and energy. They have shunted aside problems affecting the real lives of ordinary people. The ruling party is busy filling the gaps and fighting corruption. The opposition party meanwhile, is busy protesting. Politics is invariably about venting one's spleen and inciting hatred, leaving people with deeper and harder to heal wounds. Has the meaning of democracy been reduced to this?

More and more people must turn off the TV to avoid having their mood destroyed by ugly political spectacles. When people watch the documentary "We Three," their throats may well be choked with emotion. Luo Mao-sheng has his own way of thinking about the future. He stands on the beach alone. The chilly sea breeze and waves wash up against him, allowing him to organize his thoughts. From time to time a large wave will stagger him. On occasion it may dislodge his artificial leg. Luo Mao-sheng must then stand on one leg amidst pounding waves to recover his artificial leg. We do not know whether Luo Mao-sheng has found a way out. But those who wield immense state power and public resources ought to ask themselves what sort of opportunities have I given individuals such as Luo?

Entering the second half of this year, Taiwan's economy is experiencing negative growth. Next year will be worse. A wave of corporate layoffs and plant closings will result in half a million people losing their jobs by the end of the year. We need not wait until things come to that. We can already see the future. By that time, not just handicapped workers, but even privileged white-collar workers will face the same fate. By then, will Luo Mao-sheng's coffee cart still be able to hold out? Will the customers who support him continue doing so? This may not be a question Luo Mao-sheng can answer. But it is a question those in power must ask themselves.

Each night Luo Mao-sheng roasts his own coffee beans. He knows all about the characteristics of coffee beans from various countries. Who would have imagined that a one-legged handicapped man would invest so much effort into operating a simple coffee cart? His only son must use a magnifying glass to read, putting his right eye up against the page. He hopes that by repeatedly taking scholastic exams he can find employment. The economy has hit bottom. Luo Mao-sheng has provided a reminder to all workers not to lose heart. He has also reminded the ruling and opposition parties to set aside their political differences, and turn their attention back to the real life concerns of ordinary people.

The three members of the Luo family do not flinch in the face of adversity. They struggle to remain together and to survive. Taiwan has been torn apart by "ethnic" (community group) differences and ideological differences. Whether the Great Depression can be overcome depends upon whether we can avoid interal strife. Political decline is the result of an "us vs. them" mentality in the hearts of politicians. They see only "us" and "them," They have fogotten that We the People are "them."

2008.11.27 02:49 am


在 和平東路一堵老牆下,羅茂盛守著兼代步的摩托行動咖啡車,扶著左腿的義肢,一站就是十二小時。這是他全部的生計,為養活青光眼的妻子和弱視的兒子,他做過 管理員、賣過彩券,最後摸索出賣咖啡這條路。靠著客人半贊助式的愛心,羅茂盛熬過了挫折的日子,但他每天還在思考:未來的路要怎麼繼續走下去?

這 是「我們三個」的故事梗概。一家三口都是身障,卻希望有尊嚴地維持自己的生活,羅茂盛一家沒有抱怨命運,也不質疑政府或社會不公,只是不斷地摸索嘗試、互 相扶持。「我們三個」其實不只是羅茂盛一家的故事,也是台灣許多勞動者的人生紀實;雖沒有「海角七號」的趣味和浪漫,這部半小時的紀錄片卻值得一看,特別 對那些忘記人間真相的政治人而言。

當金融海嘯狂襲全球,當台灣經濟陷入景氣嚴冬,當司法正在偵辦幾億、幾十億的貪瀆案件之際,朝野政客卻 還在為要不要挺扁、要不要發消費券作無謂的叫罵,在野黨一再發動群眾向司法示威。大環境氛圍的嗆辣,對照這個路邊咖啡攤靜默的生活掙扎,更顯荒謬而諷刺。 過去八年在慘烈的藍綠對峙下,台灣在政治上不僅徹底失去了凝聚共識的能力,即連非關政治的經濟議題也失去理性討論的空間,這是台灣最可悲的墮落。如果連消 費券這種緊急救命措施都遭刻意延宕,政治人物眼裡還會有市井小民的生活苦難嗎?

事實如此,台灣的政治不僅越來越和社會脫節,甚至可以說政 治解決人民及社會問題的能力也越來越弱。過去十年,政治人物忙著修憲、忙著談改革、忙著政黨惡鬥、忙著建構台灣國論述,消耗掉國家絕大部分的資源與精力, 有血有肉的民生問題被擺到一旁。如今,執政黨忙著挖貪補漏,在野黨忙著反嗆拉扯,政治只是一味發洩憤怒、激盪仇恨,留給民眾的則是難以平癒的創傷。民主對 人民的意義,為何會窄化及矮化到此一地步?

當越來越多人必須關掉電視,避免被醜陋的政治景象擾亂心情,人們看完「我們三個」這部紀錄片, 可能會有喉嚨被卡住的感覺。羅茂盛思考未來的方式很特別,他獨自到海邊,藉著海風的清冷和海浪的沖刷,來整理自己的思緒。大浪不時打得他踉蹌跌坐,有時甚 至打掉他的義肢,羅茂盛必須奮起單腿,在千鈞一髮中向海浪奪回自己的義肢。我們不知道羅茂盛從險惡的海浪看到什麼出路,但那些掌握有偌大公權力和公資源的 人應該問問:自己給了這樣的人什麼機會?

台灣經濟今年下半年已進入負成長,明年將更惡化,隨著企業裁員和關廠潮,到年底將有五十萬人失去 工作。不必走到那一刻,我們已可預見未來的景象;到了那種時候,別說是身障的勞工,優秀的白領階級一樣將同遭其殃。屆時,羅茂盛的咖啡攤還撐不撐得下去? 支持他的顧客還會不會繼續出現?這也許不是羅茂盛能回答的問題,卻是主政者該捫心自問的課題。

羅茂盛夜裡在家中自行烘焙咖啡豆,對各國咖 啡品類的脾性皆能娓娓道來;誰能想像,一位獨腿人如此用心經營他簡單的咖啡攤?就像他的獨子,須藉放大鏡將右眼緊貼在書頁上才能閱讀,也只是寄望不斷參加 考試取得就業機會。在經濟的退潮時分,羅茂盛一家的堅毅和無怨,除了提醒所有勞動者不要灰心喪志,也提醒朝野政黨應拋開務虛的政治硝煙,回到關注人民真實 生活的主軸來。


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chen Shui-bian's Hunger Strike and the DPP's Support for Ah-Bian

Chen Shui-bian's Hunger Strike and the DPP's Support for Ah-Bian
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 26, 2008

The outcome of two activities remain uncertain. The first is Chen Shui-bian's hunger strike. The second is the DPP's continued support for Ah-Bian.

These two activities have one thing in common. They have clearly lost momentum, but at the same time the actors can't bring themselves to stop. The main reason is these two activities lack mainstream society support. Even among traditional Green Camp social organizations, the response has been tepid.

Last Saturday evening's Yuanshan rally could be seen as an indicator of support for Ah-Bian. Some claimed buses brought 10,000 people to the site. But others estimate somewhat fewer than 10,000 showed up. During this rally Li Hong-hsi railed hysterically that "Three generations of judges and prosecutors deserve to meet with excruciating ends." This tells us the Green Camp has degenerated into a mob on the rampage. Annette Lu wants Tsai Ing-wen to bear responsibility for deciding whether to break with Chen Shui-bian. This tells us that once again Chen Shui-bian is tearing the DPP apart. The evening's events made it clear that mainstream society is unwilling to come to the aid of Chen Shui-bian. Event organizers failed to offer sound reasons for supporting Chen Shui-bian. So the question now is, does Chen Shui-bian intend to continue his hunger strike?

The Yuanshan rally confirmed it is no longer possible to work up any support for Chen Shui-bian on Taiwan. If the Green Camp persists, it will only lead to more ugly Li Hong-hsi type incidents, and more laughable Annette Lu type farces. The situation is clear. Chen Shui-bian's hunger strike lacks moral legitimacy. Unilateral assertions that "Chen Shui-bian is not guilty" convince no one. The Taipei Detention Center has already released a trial balloon, suggesting that, if necessary, Chen Shui-bian will force fed. Another rumor suggests that following Chen's indictment, additional indictments will be made and he will remain in detention. The facts of Chen's cass will be made public following each indictment. The legitimacy of supporting Ah-Bian has been undermined by his indictments. The question now is, does Chen Shui-bian intend to continue his hunger strike?

Let's talk about the Democratic Progressive Party's dilemma. On August 30 it refused to support Ah-Bian. At the Yuanshan evening rally it supported Ah-Bian. The Democratic Progressive Party is unable to break with Chen Shui-bian. Annette Lu, Yu Shi-kuen, Su Tseng-chang and local officials came out in support of Ah-Bian. The Presbyterian Church and other pro-independence forces are no longer persona no grata. Even Tsai Ing-wen ascended to the podium. She merely paid lip service to "Human Rights." Such moves will have an impact only on Deep Greens. They will not persuade mainstream society. They may well increase antipathy among the Great Silent Majority. The more the Democratic Progressive Party resorts to the methods of Li Hong-hsi, Huang Ching-ling, and Cheng Hsing-chu in its support of Chen Shui-bian, the more mainstream society will conclude that the DPP is incorrigible and impervious to reason. When Deep Greens rail "Chairman Tsai is heartless," the public concludes that Tsai Ing-wen will never be able to transform the Democratic Progressive Party. In short: Chen Shui-bian will not be saved. The Democratic Progressive Party will be destroyed. Tsai Ing-wen will be lost.

Chen Shui-bian's indictment will be a watershed. Su Chi-feng and Chen Ming-wen have ended their hunger strikes. This is a blow to Chen Shui-bian. Chen Cheng-hui, Tsai Ming-Jer, Lee Chieh-mu have pleaded guilty. Koo Chung-liang has turned himself in. Chen Shui-bian has begun drinking electrolytes, dramatically diluting the political impact of his hunger strike. Chen Shui-bian is gambling. He hopes to remain on hunger strike right up to his indictment. He hopes his hunger strikes will gain his release on bail or an acquittal. But the Second Financial Reform and Secret Diplomacy scandals may keep Chen Shui-bian in custody. Chen Shui-bian faces a dilemma. He must end his hunger strike before he is indicted. If he is still in custody when he is indictment, he will have a hard time finding a pretext to end his hunger strike. The legitimacy of his hunger strike will also be weakened.

Once Chen Shui-bian is indicted, the DPP will find itself in a dilemma. If Chen Shui-bian is released, how will the Democratic Progressive Party deal with Chen Shui-bian's rabble-rousing? If he remains in custody, should the Democratic Progressive Party demand his release?

Chen Shui-bian's hunger strike will not have the impact he anticipated. Nor will the Democratic Progressive Party gain any political mileage by supporting Chen Shui-bian's hunger strike. Chen Shui-bian's hunger strike lacks moral legitimacy. The Democratic Progressive is unable to offer any convincing reasons to support Ah-Bian. For decades, the public on Taiwan has unhesitatingly supported and encouraged genuine pioneers for social progress. If it is unable to receive a satisfactory response, then that is something that must be addressed through action.

Chen Shui-bian would do well to change his strategy. He should emulate Lee Ming-Jer Tsai and Li Chieh-mu. He should admit his guilt, turn over his ill-gotten gains, and beg society to forgive him for "committing acts not permitted under the law." Chen Shui-bian will no longer need to remain on hunger strike. In which case the Democratic Progressive Party may paradoxically have more reason to support Chen.

2008.11.26 04:46 am



上 周六的圓山晚會,可視為挺扁的指標。據說遊覽車載來一萬人,但有人估計現場尚不到一萬人。這場晚會,李鴻禧狂罵「法官檢察官三代不得好死」,顯示綠營的論 述已至無理取鬧的地步;而呂秀蓮要蔡英文為「切不切割」負責,則再次暴露了民進黨已被陳水扁撕裂。這場晚會顯然未能召喚主流社會來聲援陳水扁,也未能在論 述上建立聲援陳水扁的正大理由,其立即發生的牽動效應是:陳水扁還要不要繼續絕食下去?

經過這場晚會,可以證實在台灣社會已無可能產生挺 扁的激情。綠營勉強為之,只會增添李鴻禧式的醜態與呂秀蓮式的鬧劇。事態十分明顯,陳水扁的絕食不具正當性,片面主張「阿扁無罪」亦不具正當性;而且,看 守所方面已放出必要時將對阿扁「固定保護」強行灌食的試探氣球,又傳出起訴後將另案繼續羈押陳水扁。扁案的真相將隨起訴而公開,挺扁的正當性亦將因起訴而 重挫。然則,陳水扁還要繼續絕食嗎?

接著可談民進黨挺扁的進退失據。從八三○不容挺扁,到圓山挺扁晚會;民進黨的主體已與陳水扁不能切 割,呂、游、蘇至地方山頭皆已出面挺扁,長老教會等獨派勢力亦早已不再避諱;連蔡英文也上了台,只是在口頭上守住「司法人權」的底線。不過,這類動作的影 響,似皆只在深綠極獨的範疇中激盪,非但未能感動或說服主流社會,反而可能徒增多數國人的惡感。民進黨愈用李鴻禧、黃慶林、鄭新助之類的方法來挺陳水扁, 主流社會就愈覺得民進黨的不可理喻及不可救藥。當深綠嗆聲「蔡主席無情」,社會大眾則認為對蔡英文改造民進黨已無指望。現在這個局面簡直是:救不了陳水 扁,毀了民進黨,又賠上了蔡英文。

接下來,陳水扁被起訴時,將是一個關鍵點。蘇治芬及陳明文停止絕食,對陳水扁的絕食是一衝擊;而陳鎮 慧、蔡銘哲、李界木的認罪、辜仲諒的投案,及陳水扁開始飲用電解水,更使他絕食的政治效應急遽下降。陳水扁現在想要一賭的也許是:絕食到起訴,然後以絕食 爭取交保或開釋。但是,就目前所見,因仍有二次金改及機密外交等大案,陳水扁屆時也可能繼續羈押。如此一來,將使陳水扁的絕食陷入進退兩難:他最好能在起 訴前停止絕食,否則,萬一起訴後仍被羈押,就更難找到停止絕食的下台階,但屆時繼續絕食的正當性卻將更趨薄弱。


情 勢發展至今,陳水扁的絕食發生不了他所想要達成的社會效應,民進黨挺扁也無法從陳水扁絕食獲得社會動能。因為,陳水扁絕食沒有正大的理由,民進黨挺扁也缺 乏一個足以說服國人的論述。幾十年來,台灣民眾不曾吝惜給真正推動社會進步的先驅以熱情的支持及鼓勵;但若未能獲得回響,那一定是在論述上或行動上尚有可 待商榷之處。


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Increased Public Works: A Magic Pill to Save the Economy

Increased Public Works: A Magic Pill to Save the Economy
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 25, 2008

The economic situation is critical. The government continues writing new prescriptions for the nation's economic ills. Each prescription has its own effect. The government is issuing 83.5 billion NT in consumer vouchers. This can be likened to a shot of adrenalin. Meanwhile, a four year 420 billion NT increase in public works can be likened to a magic pill. Therefore the distinction between the two policy prescriptions is merely procedural and technical, and one of chronological priority. There is no room for hesitation regarding increased public works. The ruling and opposition parties must realize this.

Yesterday the Executive Yuan held an interim session. It passed special regulations relating to consumer vouchers and increased public works. It considered the urgency of issuing consumer vouchers. Two measures to stimulate domestic demand were not included in the package. This avoided linkage that might have delayed its passage. The Executive Yuan's change of heart may have been a compromise due to political considerations. But it was necessary. After all, consumer vouchers are a relatively simple policy prescription. They are a one-time proposition. They are immediate, comprehensive, socially acceptable, and have few lasting after-effects. By contrast, increased public works require long term commitment and increased responsibility. They must be implemented by a variety of government agencies. The allocation of public resources must be subject to close supervision. They must be discussed and evaluated. They should not and may not be rushed.

Given the current economic situation, increasing public works must not be delayed. This can be viewed on three levels. First, the magnitude of the global financial crisis has exceeded expectations. Traditional countermeasures against the business cycle have not been able to cope. The accepted solution is a cocktail of currency and fiscal policies. But each policy has its limitations. Any such cocktail must be specially mixed to suit each nation's circumstances. Only then can the impact of each policy be tracked, followed up, and multiplied. The government must jumpstart the economy.

Take consumer vouchers. The spending of 83.5 billion NT can awaken demand, increase production, reduce unemployment, and slow economic decline. But once it's spent, it's gone. The government cannot continually issue consumer vouchers. Therefore, they must be followed by increased public works and other measures. Otherwise, the time bought with consumer vouchers will be wasted. Therefore the two must go hand in hand. This is why the Executive Yuan wanted to link the two in the first place.

Secondly, public works don't merely jumpstart the economy. Public works will be a major contributor to economic growth next year. According to the Directorate General of Budget Office's latest forecast, the private sector has flamed out. A quarter of next year's 2.12% growth will come from increased government investment, as much as 0.55%. This means that if the government delays investment, or reduces investment, the economic growth rate next year will have difficulty remaining above 2%. Economic recovery will also be delayed. Therefore as far the government is concerned, the DGBAS forecast is a mission that must be accomplished. To accomplish this goal, the government must increase investment to over 20%. Public works must proceed both rapidly and in full force.

Thirdly, we must return to the root of public investment. The real value of bridge construction and road construction is to promote production and improve living standards. Therefore the benefits of economic growth brought about by public works is merely incidental. Public works are one of the government's tools to revitalize the economy. Attention is often focused on the expansion of demand, neglecting its original purpose. Rebuilding Taiwan's public infrastructure stores up energy for a future recovery. Improving the living environment promotes increased consumption. An increase in consumption can become a source of economic growth. Therefore investment in public works have regenerative power, and serves many purposes.

The economic situation has deteriorated rapidly, highlighting the intensity of the global recession. This must not be overlooked. Just as businesses must weather the storm, we too must tough it out. Only then can we make a comeback. We must not second guess ourselves. The opposition party, as it provides checks on the ruling administration, must not resort to politically-motivated obstructionism. The consumer vouchers are an adrenalin shot. Follow through by approving increased public works, as soon as possible. Only such a policy will be effective.

We must remind the Executive Yuan of lessons learned from hard experience. Government investment has made a positive contribution to the economy in only two years out of the past ten. An economic recession began in the third quarter of this year. Increasing local infrastructure to expand domestic demand was not as effective as anticipated. Promoting public investment is not merely for the sake of the budget. The key is execution. The Executive Yuan must engage in self-examination. It must explain its policies. Only then can it persuade the public.

2008.11.25 02:18 am

經 濟情勢危急,救經濟藥方不斷,但各有其效;一次發放八百卅五億元的全民消費券,如果是強心針;四年動支四千二百億元的擴大公共建設,就是讓經濟再起的續命 丸。所以,兩大政策的特別條例切割,僅是流程處理的技術問題,絕非輕重緩急的選擇,擴大公共投資沒有任何遲疑的空間,朝野都應有此認知。

行 政院昨天舉行臨時院會,通過消費券特別條例及擴大公共建設特別條例;考量消費券發放的急迫時效性,兩項擴大內需措施沒有包裹立法,以免彼此牽制,影響立法 時程。行政院態度上的轉變,儘管是出於政治考量的適度妥協,但卻是必要的;畢竟,消費券的政策內涵較為簡單,其一次性、立即性、全民執行的特色,令其社會 接受度高,後遺症也較少。相對的,擴大公共建設的推動,具有持續性、擴散性,並因由政府部門執行,須受公共資源分配的監督,以致需有一定的評估及討論過 程,不應也不能急就章。

可是,以現今的經濟情勢,擴大公共建設也絕對是慢不得的,這可以分成三個層次來說明。一是全球實體經濟受金融海嘯 衝擊的速度、深度都超乎預期,傳統的反景氣循環對策已難以應對,組合多項貨幣、財政政策工具的「雞尾酒療法」則成為主流。但是,每項工具均有其限制,必須 依各國狀況安排推動的順序,讓各個政策的效益得以展現、接續,進而相乘,使政府提振景氣的點點星火得以燎原。

就以消費券為例,八百卅五億 元花下去,可以喚醒一點需求、增加一點生產、減少一點失業、延緩景氣惡化之勢,但花完就沒有了,政府也不可能一直發;所以,必須要有擴大公共投資等其他措 施接上去,否則消費券爭取到的一點救命時間就白費了。因此,兩者應是相輔相成,這也是行政院一開始想要綁在一起做的主因。

第二個層次是, 公共投資已不只是點火景氣的角色,還將成為明年經濟成長的主角之一。根據行政院主計處的最新經濟預測,由於民間部門熄火,明年百分之二點一二的經濟成長率 中,有四分之一是來自政府投資的大幅成長,達零點五五個百分點;這意謂,如果政府投資延遲、縮水,明年經濟成長率就會連「保二」都有困難,景氣復甦也將延 後。因此,主計處這項預測對政府而言,已是「使命必達」的目標;而要達成此一目標,政府投資就須增加二成以上,此時推動擴大公共建設方案不只慢不得,還要 卯足全力。

第三個層次是回到公共投資的初衷。基本上,造橋、鋪路等公共投資的真正價值是在促進生產及改善生活,因建設投入所帶來的經濟成 長,則僅是附帶效益;不過,由於公共投資經常成為政府振興景氣的政策工具,以致一般只關注它的擴大需求效果,反而忽略了其原始意義。故而此時建設台灣的公 共環境,也是在蓄積今後迎接景氣回升的實力;其對生活環境的改善,更有助於促進消費,而消費的增加又成為經濟成長的來源。因此,公共投資是具有再生循環性 的,此時做建設更是一舉多得。

近期各項經濟指標急速惡化,凸顯出這一波全球經濟大衰退來勢洶洶,而且是不可輕忽,就像企業度年關一般,挺 過這一關,才有再起之機。因此,現在沒有瞻前顧後的條件,也期望在野黨的監督勿流於政治意氣之爭;既然給了消費券這劑強心針,就不要半途而廢,也要儘速核 定擴大公共建設這顆續命丸,如此政策效益才能一貫。


Monday, November 24, 2008

The First to Unburden Itself of the Past Will Be the Winner

The First to Unburden Itself of the Past Will Be the Winner
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 24, 2008

Last weekend, both the ruling and opposition parties were busy with party affairs. The KMT held its 17th Extraordinary National Congress. It added five Vice Chairmen, increasing the number of KMT Vice Chairmen to a record eight. The Democratic Progressive Party, meanwhile, gathered at the "Taiwan is Our Country" evening rally, organized by a nativist oriented pressure group. Nominally the rally was about sovereignty and human rights. In fact it was merely another "Support Chen Rally." These two political events dramatically illustrate the two parties' problems.

The two parties staged these events for the public benefit. But they merely highlighted the two parties' most serious problems, namely, that they are primarily interested in pacifying party insiders. If they can't pacify members of their own party, nothing else matters. No matter how strong the party's image or platform might be, if the party is subject to internal strife, if it trips over its own feet, it won't be able to wage a winning campaign at election time. If one cannot win elections, everything else is beside the point. This is a fate neither the ruling nor opposition party can escape.

Consider the KMT. There they sat, eight Vice Chairmen, all in a row. We have never seen such an array in the history of the KMT, or for that matter, in the history of political parties the world over. The Chairman and the Vice Chairmen are numerous enough to hold a "Meeting of Vice Chairmen." The arrangement highlighted neither the party's power succession, nor any commitment to generational change. As for reform? Forget about it. Euphemistically, such an arrangement might be referred to as "promoting unity." Less euphemistically, it is mere patronage. Still less euphemistically, one might say that "The KMT will always be the KMT." Considerations of power will always trump public perception. No wonder most peoples' mental stereotypes about the KMT can never be overcome.

Now consider the DPP. For the forseeable future, it is fated to be linked to Chen Shui-bian. Chairman Tsai Ing-wen understands this better than anyone else. If the Democratic Progressive Party hopes to reverse its fortunes, its first order of business must be to disassociate itself from Chen Shui-bian. Chen Shui-bian understands this equally well. If he wants to reverse his fortunes, his first order of business must be to cling to the Democratic Progressive Party for dear life. These two totally contradictory forces collided during the evening rally. The crowd was filled with masses who supported Chen. After a few pro forma expressions of support for human rights, Tsai Ing-wen vanished. The result was predictable. The more Tsai Ing-wen evades the need to disassociate the DPP from Ah-Bian, the firmer the support for Ah-Bian. This augurs poorly for the DPP's hope of an "era without Chen Shui-bian."

Both the ruling and opposition parties have their crosses to bear. Put simply, whichever political party remains hobbled by its past will be the loser.

The KMT faces old problems. Even after being in the opposition for eight years, its decadent  political culture remains. Its gerontocracy, its penchant for infighting and other negative traits seem to follow it around like a shadow. The arrangement of its eight Vice Chairmen has taken Parkinson's Law to the limit. Its actual purpose had nothing to do with leadership. Its real purpose was to prevent friction among rivals. The result was predictable. The power succession has been postponed indefinitely. The sundry factions will continue to consolidate their power. Such an arrangement will not help the Ma administration improve its performance. Even increasing the number of Vice Chairmen to 16 won't make any difference.

The Democratic Progressive Party also has no choice. Chen Shui-bian after all, is its former leader. Over the past eight years, Chen Shui-bian and the DPP have been joined at the hip. Chen Shui-bian enabled the Democratic Progressive Party to become the ruling party. Now that Chen Shui-bian is mired in corruption and depravity, the leaders of the Democratic Progressive Party, no matter which faction, no matter which generation, are unable to disown him. Logically speaking, who doesn't know the Chen family is guilty of corruption and money-laundering? Emotionally speaking, who has the courage to make a clean break? Wait and see. Wait for prosecutors to finish their preliminary investigation and begin actual prosecution. Ah-Bian is about to submit bail, pending trial. He is a caged tiger. The trial will take one and a half to three years. Perhaps longer. Ah-Bian can be counted on to stir the pot, to use of delaying tactics, to  foment political unrest to obstruct justice. Tsai Ing-wen will be lucky not to be marginalized. On the other hand, further revelations of revolting Green Camp corruption will come to light during the trial. Since the Democratic Progressive Party has missed its golden opportunity to make a clean break with Ah-Bian, it will have to accept the blame.

Two thousand and eight is rapidly drawing to a close. Neither the ruling nor opposition parties have had an easy time. The KMT has regained the power it lost for eight years. But regaining power has not immediately improved its lot. Its approval ratings have plummeted so preciptously, even its leadership is embarrassed. An Extraordinary National Congress has added five more Vice Chairmen. Otherwise, it is business as usual. The DPP has not recovered from the shock of losing political power. Should it break with Ah-Bian? The party remains in a dilemma. The issue will dog the party for years to come. In short, whichever party first unburdens itself of the past will be the winner.

中國時報  2008.11.24
誰能率先甩掉包袱 誰就是贏家

上個周末,朝野兩黨都在忙碌中度過。國民黨舉行了第十七次全代會臨時會,破紀錄地增加了五名副主席,加總起來國民黨現在已經擁有八名副主席了。民進黨則是 齊聚在本土社團所舉辦的「台灣咱的國家」晚會中,這場聚會名義上是要談主權講人權的,實質上依舊是場「挺扁大會」。這兩場政治活動,相當生動地點出了兩個 黨的各自問題。

儘管這兩場戲碼都有演給全國民眾看的寓意,但無例外都突出了兩黨當下所必須面對的最重要課題:「安內」為上。擺不平內部,其他談再多其實都沒用。形象、政 綱再強的政黨,內部若是掣肘不斷、自亂陣腳,碰到選舉什麼戰力都發揮不出來,選敗了講什麼都是白搭。這或許是朝野兩黨都擺脫不了的宿命。

先看國民黨。一字排開八位副主席,別說國民黨自己的黨史,就算翻閱世界政黨史,都看不到這種陣仗,等於說光是主席加全部副主席就可以開個「副主席團會議」 了,整個安排既未突出「接班梯隊」的態勢,亦未呈現出「世代交替」的風格,至於「清新改革」就更不必提了。這種安排講好聽是「團結」,講難聽就是統統有獎 的權力分贓。說再白一些,國民黨終究就是國民黨,權力安排的考量永遠大過社會觀感,也難怪國民黨在多數民眾眼中的刻板印象永遠都去除不了。

至於民進黨,看來在未來相當長的一段時間裡,註定是要與陳水扁綁在一起了。蔡英文主席其實比誰都清楚,民進黨未來要逆勢再起,第一要務就是要與陳水扁切 割;同樣的陳水扁自己也心知肚明,他未來要在逆境中突圍,第一要務就是緊抱民進黨不放。當兩種完全矛盾的目標撞在一起,就像我們在晚會中所看到的畫面,滿 場群眾瀰漫著挺扁氛圍,蔡英文一人高倡人權後「快閃」,結果當然可想而知,蔡英文愈是迂迴切割,群眾挺扁聲浪愈是更堅實。這預示民進黨要邁入一個「沒有陳 水扁」時代,恐怕根本做不到!


國民黨所面臨的全是老問題。都已經在野了八年,昔日近乎腐朽的政治文化還是未見褪盡,論字排輩、內鬥內行…等等令人詬病的舊習性,永遠都是如影隨行;八名 副主席的安排,已經將管理學上的「帕金森定律」發揮到極致,它的實質功能與領導副手完全無關,僅只是為了避免各方人馬的無端反彈。結果當然可想而知,它將 權力接班的時程無限期延後,也提供了各路人馬更多蓄積能量的機會。只不過,如果這般複雜的安排,在未來不能幫助馬政府將政績提振起來,就算再擴張成十六個 人來當副主席,也不具有任何意義。

民進黨同樣也沒得選擇。陳水扁畢竟是昔日的領袖,過去八年的歲月,陳水扁與民進黨等於就是連體嬰,民進黨因為陳水扁而得享執政榮耀,如今卻也因陳水扁涉及 貪腐而墮落蒙塵,整個民進黨的領導精英,不論派系、世代,誰能與陳水扁切割得一清二楚?理性的事實認定上,扁家究竟有無貪汙洗錢,誰心中會沒數?但在感性 情誼上,誰又能完全一刀切呢?等著看吧,待檢方偵查終結邁入起訴階段後,扁也隨即要交保候審了,屆時勢必又是如同猛虎出柙,隨著審判時程,未來少則一年半 載,多則兩三年甚至更長,扁肯定翻炒議題,拉長戰線,以政治對抗司法,小英能不被邊緣化就不錯了。另一方面,審判過程中也勢必進一步披露更多綠營不堪聞問 的貪腐內幕,民進黨既然已經錯過了切割的黃金時間,也只能概括承受了。

二○○八快接近尾聲了,這一年朝野兩黨都過得並不愉快,國民黨贏得了喪失八年的政權,但並未帶來「馬上好」,聲望跌停到令他們自己都覺難堪,一場使勁演出 的臨全會,除了多了五位副主席,並未讓人「一新耳目」;而民進黨則是到現在都還未從喪失政權的陰影中回神過來,與扁要切不切的兩難,還會在未來的歲月中持 續折磨這個政黨。結論是,哪個政黨能率先甩掉包袱,就會是下階段的贏家。

Friday, November 21, 2008

Betrayal: The Fate of All Cronies and Confidants

Betrayal: The Fate of All Cronies and Confidants
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 21, 2008

During Chen Shui-bian's declaration of Holy War, he alleged that the money in his secret overseas accounts were "nation-building funds." Now "dog eat dog" prevails amidst this den of thieves. The Chen Shui-bian crime family's endless lies have brought them to the end of their rope. The Don and his immediate family are still resorting to all sorts of tricks to wriggle free. But many of their consigliere and underbosses are already behind bars. These underlings shared the pain but not the gain. Let images of them in captivity serve as an unforgettable wake up call for all would-be Yes Men and Bag Men.

Wu Shu-chen has been interrogated by the Special Investigation Unit. She has denied all knowledge of crimes. She has passed the buck on to close aides, and said the cases have nothing to do with her. Ma Yung-cheng helped her file fraudulent claims to State Affairs Funds, but she says she has no knowledge of it. Yu Cheng-hsien leaked the list of judges to vendors, but she says she did not issue any orders. The Koo family gave her a 400 million dollar commission, but she insists it was a "political contribution." She even railed at Tsai Ming-Jer for skimming. Wu Shu-chen has denied any and all guilt. When arrested, Chen Shui-bian shouted "Release these innocent detainees." Their statements reflect the Chen family's two-handed tactics. In public they call for justice. In private they don't even bother spitting out the bones after they swallow someone.

The public is familiar with the Chen family's ability to lie through its teeth. First Daughter Chen Hsing-yu screamed that her father-in-law Chao Yu-chu "might as well commit suicide." Meanwhile, First Son Chen Chi-chung and his wife Huang Jui-ching inisted that their overseas money-laundering was carried out "on orders from his mother." They were using the same tactics. Chen Chi-chung and his wife passed the buck on to his mother. Wu Shu-chen passed the buck on to her retainer and confidant. When things go right, the plunder belongs to them. But when something goes wrong, the responsibility belongs to the underlings who carried out their orders. This truly is the philosophy of crocodiles who don't bother to spit out the bones after eating someone. Chen Chun-ying is Wu is Wu Ching-mao's wife, and Wu Shu-chen's sister-in-law. Chen Chun-ying said, "Now that things have gone awry, Wu Shu-chen is concerned only about her money. She doesn't give a damn about whether the Wu family lives or dies!"

Yeh Sheng-mao, Chief of the Bureau of Investigation, leaked information about the money-laundering investigation to Ah-Bian. Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien was relegated to the role of messenger boy. He leaked a list of the judges to vendors. This tells us just how far administrative discipline degenerated under Ah-Bian's misrule. Ma Yung-cheng was known as "Ah-Bian's alter ego." He didn't compare to Ah-cheng's close friend Tsai Mei-li and her brother, who acted as go betweens for the Presidential Residence and politically-connected Big Business. This show us that politics is bottomless cesspool. Chen Shui-bian deceived the people and exploited Taiwan. He even deceived his own political party and his comrades.

Chen Shui-bian's eight year reign of cronyism and cronyist culture has reached the stage where he must sacrifice his cronies to save himself. He has reached the end of his rope. Politically, Chen Shui-bian's fate was not the betrayal of one's ideals. Rather it was the final unveiling of the ugly face of extreme selfishness and instrumentalism. Chen Shui-bian treated Chen Cheng-hui, Ma Yung-cheng, and others as tools for corruption. He used them as tools to commit perjury. And finally, he used them to take the fall. Their usefulness as tools has been exhausted. Ah-Bian and Ah-Cheng have, without missing a beat, turned their backs on them. They have now become the prime suspects, the principal offenders. As they struggle to get away, Ah-Cheng's heartlessness leaves us incredulous.

Is the Green Camp still confused about Chen Shui-bian's selfishness? He was elected president eight years ago on a wave of social reform and and demands for clean government. But soon after taking office, "National Polcy Advisors" were discarded like old shoes. He recruited Tang Fei to form a cabinet. But months later, he announced that "a large stone [in my way] has been removed." During his term he changed Premiers six times. What were these high officials but disposable tools? This includes his "Join the UN Referendum," his "Rectification of Names and Purging of Chiang Kai-shek References," and his "Scorched Earth Diplomacy." In the end what were they, but tools to cover up his incompetence and corruption? What's more, Chen Shui-bian's phony donations to Taiwan independence elder Wu Li-pei dragged him into Chen's money-laundering scandal. A mere 30 million in the Longtan Scandal has ruined James Li. Does the Green Camp still believe that he is a noble warrior for Taiwan independence?

In this major case of corruption by a head of state, the mastermind remains outside the law. Instead, various and sundry relatives and confidants have wound up behind bars. This perverse scenario represent a disastrous disruption of the island's democratic politics. Its final repercussions remain to be seen. Chen has betrayed his underlings. Let their fates serve as lessons for those willing and eager to perform the role of hatchet men in the political arena. Civil servants who betrayed the law and the public trust, who swore allegiance to those who violate the law and abuse their authority, have only themselves to blame. Power politics is the power of darkness. It corrupts a nation's institutions and ethics. It rips apart its civil society, and prevents it from healing. Why has the island's democracy been corrupted to this degree by a single family, to the point where it is difficult even to clean up the mess?

Abuse of power, favoritism, corruption, power games are all tools Chen Shui-bian is using to elude justice. Now that this parade float of corruption has come tumbling down, The Lady MacBeth perched atop the float is shouting, "I'm going to kill you." Doesn't the Chen crime family's mafia saga make one's heart thump and one's skin crawl?

2008.11.21 02:50 am


吳 淑珍接受特偵組訊問,對所有弊案一概否認知情,並將責任全推說身邊親信擅作主張,與她無關。對馬永成為她詐領國務機要費,她宣稱不知情;對余政憲洩漏評委 名單給廠商,她說自己沒指示;對於辜家四億佣金,她堅稱是「政治獻金」,還怒責蔡銘哲從中暗槓。吳淑珍的全盤抵賴,對照陳水扁被押時高呼「放了那些無辜被 押的人」,反映了扁家慣用的兩手策略:在公開場合呼喚正義,私下卻吃人不吐骨頭。

這種一推二賴的本事,大家並不陌生。當陳幸妤要她公公趙 玉柱「自殺算了」,當陳致中、黃睿靚夫婦始終咬緊海外洗錢是奉「母命」行事,用的即是同一招數。陳致中夫婦把責任全推給母親,吳淑珍把責任全推給家臣和親 信;搜刮的金山銀山歸自己,出事的責任卻歸執行任務的部屬,這真是吃人不吐骨頭的鱷魚哲學。吳淑珍的嫂子,也就是吳景茂的妻子陳俊英說:「事發之後,吳淑 珍只關心她的錢,卻完全不管吳家的死活!」

葉盛茂身為調查局長卻向阿扁洩漏洗錢情資,余政憲身為內政部長卻降格扮演洩漏工程評委名單的信 差,說明扁時代行政綱紀敗毀得一塌糊塗。即以馬永成堪稱「阿扁分身」,還比不上阿珍好友蔡美利姊弟在官邸政商間的親暱穿梭,可見親信政治是一桶不見底的餿 水。陳水扁不僅欺騙了人民、剝削了台灣,他也矇蔽了自己的政黨和同志。

陳水扁八年這頁醜陋的「親信政治」和「裙帶文化」,走到必須和跑腿 人切割的地步,也等於走到了自己的末路。放在政治的脈絡裡觀察,陳水扁今天的下場,與其說是他的理想沉淪,倒不如說是他極端自私自利的「工具主義」之圖窮 匕現。陳水扁將陳鎮慧、馬永成一干人用成貪汙的工具,然後又用成串證偽證的工具,再用成頂罪的工具;現在這些人的工具效應已經消耗殆盡,扁珍立即翻臉不認 人,反而把這些人當成主犯,而自己卻想脫身。扁珍的沒心沒肺,何能到此地步?

綠營果真至今還看不清陳水扁的自私和趨利本質嗎?試想:他八 年前當選總統,是靠著一批社會清流的力挺,但上任不久,「國政顧問團」的菁英即被棄如敝屣。他延攬唐飛組閣,不數月,即宣布「大石頭搬走了」。他任內六次 改組內閣,這些天王閣揆不也都是他一用即棄的工具嗎?包括他推動「入聯公投」、「正名去蔣」、「烽火外交」,追根究柢,也皆是為了掩飾其無能和貪瀆而發動 的政治操作。更有甚者,陳水扁假藉捐款把台獨大老吳澧培拖進洗錢案,用區區三千萬把李界木毀在龍潭弊案,綠營還要相信他是台獨志士嗎?

這 件元首貪瀆大案,主謀一家還逍遙在外,反而是各路親信身繫囹圄,這種倒錯景象,反映的是台灣民主政治禍殃未已的亂流。兔死狗烹的下場,足供那些甘為鷹犬的 政壇馬屁精引為殷鑑:身為公務員,不知向法律和體制效忠,卻選擇違背法律向濫權者效私忠,是咎由自取。更值得警惕的,則是權力政治的黑暗力量,不僅腐蝕國 家體制與行政倫理,更讓撕裂的公民社會無以癒合。為什麼台灣民主遭一人一家敗壞至此,現在卻連收拾殘局都還有困難?


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chen's Books Can't Conceal His Crimes

Chen's Books Can't Conceal His Crimes
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 20, 2008

The Special Investigative Unit still faces many problems. Former President Chen Shui-bian staged a hunger strike. As a result, he was hospitalized. After being treated for four days, he was returned to the Taipei Detention Center. Through his attorneys, he issued a "declaration," openly accusing the Special Investigative Unit of selective prosecution, of prosecuting him but not prosecuting Ma Ying-jeou. Actually, prior to Ah-Bian's declaration, he had already asked his friend Chang Wei-ching to make public a photograph of himself engaged in conversation with Special Investigators Chu Chao-liang and Wu Wen-chung. Was Chen Shui-bian attempting to intimidate them? Was he bringing pressure to bear on them? Was he attempting to obstruct justice? No matter what Ah-Bian's intention was, the law is the law, and the truth will out.

What exactly is Chen Shui-bian's relationship with the Special Investigative Unit? Observers are finding it hard to tell. Ah-Bian served as president for eight years. Only recently did the Bureau of Investigation Chief reveal Chen's secrets. Only recently did everyone realize this president was obsessed with learning and hoarding secrets. Not only did he conceal information about his own family's money-laundering, he kept photocopies of official case files prosecutors were working on.

Before and after Prosecutor General Chen Tsung-ming took office, he attended dinner parties with Ah-Bian's close friends, political cronies, and industry heads. This is no longer considered news. As head of state, Chen Shui-bian is the real chief of national security. The information in his possession is clearly not limited to matters of national security.

As early as July this year, after Ah-Bian stepped down, the Special Investigative Unit began an intensive investigation of the State Affairs Fund. Chang Wei-ching insinuated that Special Investigative Unit prosecutors had a "special relationship" with Ah-Bian. She said Chu Chao-liang met and spoke with Ah-Bian during the funeral for religious leader Master Ji-hui. Her remarks touched off a firestorm. Chu Chao-liang said they merely exchanged polite greetings. They did not discuss any legal cases. Regardless, prosecutors did meet with suspects in cases they were prosecuting. They were not investigating or questioning the suspects at the time. If that wasn't controversial enough, once Chang Wei-ching made this public, Chen Shui-bian said he knew a lot about the Special Investigative Unit. He said some people were "kiting stocks." Lest we forget, the Presidential Palace Stock Kiting scandal was investigated by the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office. Recently, it resumed investigating the former administration's scandals. Suspects include former high-ranking officials of the Presidential Office, and even former First Lady Wu Shu-chen. Chen Shui-bian's insinuations forced Wu Wen-Chung to clear the air. He owned no stock. His wife purchased stocks the same way as other members of the public, by drawing lots. This cut short Ah-Bian's attempt to muddy the truth. But Ah-Bian had already succeeded in throwing the Special Investigative Unit off its stride, and forced it to consider asking Chu and and Wu to recuse themselves.

To everyones' surprise, Chen Shui-bian was not done. He struck again, using his usual tricks. And as usual, they worked. As soon as the photographs of Ah-Bian engaged in conversation with Chu and Wu came to light, Chen Tsung-ming immediately called a meeting with both Chu and Wu. It's all terribly ironic. Chen Tsung-ming was repeatedly investigated by the Ministry of Justice because of his presence at certain dinner parties, and because he leaked Bureau of Investigation secrets. Now he was being forced to investigate two Special Investigative Unit prosecutors. All three found themselves in the same pickle. Anyone who gets too close to Chen Shui-bian invariably finds himself up to his neck in hot water.

People who have gotten close to the Chen family over the past eight years have lived high off the hog, for a while. But how many of them imagined that becoming too chummy with the Chen family would one day lead to their interrogation by criminal prosecutors. Every one of them, from real estate agents who bought and sold property for the Chen family, to the father-in-law of the Chen family chauffeur who bought Chen Hsing-yu a used car, has been interrogated by the Special Investigative Unit. Add to these others unaware that Chen had used their invoices to apply for State Affairs Funds. How they must be wracking their brains, struggling to recall just exactly when their invoices were put to such use.

Forget about industry figures. Second Financial Reform holding company heads, construction industry heads, and most recently, the chairman of TECO Electric and Machinery Huang Mao-hsiung and his wife, have all been interrogated. The Huang family's relations with the Chen family were good to begin with. Huang Mao-hsiung's wife was a piano teacher for Chen Shui-bian's daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching. They weren't interrogated because they had good relations with the Chen family. They were interrogated because Huang family assets found their way into the Chen family's bank accounts. Huang Mao-hsiung's wife claimed the money was merely a wedding gift to Chen Chih-chung. Her story matched the Ma family's. The Ma family, which owns Yuanta, gave the Chen family six million dollars. Now that was a real eye-opener. Who knew prominent politicians and businessmen made gifts of such magnitude? The Huang family left everyone even more flabbergasted. Who knew wedding gifts could be made by wire transfer? Think about it. How large does a wedding gift need to be before it's necessary to use wire transfers? Before you can transfer money into someone else's account, that person must first provide you with his account number. Unless the Chen family first opened their mouths, who would have had the temerity to transfer money into their accounts? For a head of state to accept gifts in such a manner, is not merely raking it in. Who can forget the Chen family's ringing proclamation that they would not accept wedding gifts? The Chen family's transparent lies have made them a national joke.

Did money change hands? Were crimes committed? If these questions can be answered, the suspects will be cleared. It is unlikely prosecutors with the Special Investigation Unit had any financial dealings with the Chen family. It is unlikely they took Chen family money. None of them have the financial wherewithal to give the Chen family money. They talked to Chen once in passing. Then before they knew it, a photograph had suddenly become "damning evidence," difficult to explain, possibly part of yet another Chen Shui-bian ploy to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors hold the power of life and death over suspects. Many prosecutors are Buddhists. This is not surprising. Chu and Wu never imagined their faith in Buddhism would make them victims of Chen Shui-bian's dirty tricks. Buddhism has compassion for all living creatures. There are many ways of relating to people. But there is only one way of relating to slippery characters such as Chen Shui-bian. Get tough with them and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

扁帳再怎麼亂 還是得理清楚

「特偵組的問題還很多!」因為絕食被戒護送醫的前總統陳水扁,在就醫四天後送回北所,又透過律師傳遞「聲明」,直指特偵組辦扁不辦馬;事實上,在扁聲明 前,已經透過所謂的友人張瑋津公布一張扁與特偵組檢察官朱朝亮、吳文忠同席歡談的照片,陳水扁的用意到底是恫嚇?施壓?還是干擾?不論扁的用心如何,司法 的歸司法,該查清楚的真相還是得追究。



早在今年七月,特偵組在扁卸任後開始緊鑼密鼓查辦國務機要費案時,張瑋津即透露特偵組檢察官與扁的「特殊關係」,當時,她指朱朝亮在一場日慧法師的過世法 會中與扁見面談話,鬧出一場風波,朱朝亮也為此說明只是禮貌性寒暄,沒談任何案情,但不論如何,檢察官與涉案當事人碰面,又非偵辦問訊,確實引起爭議。這 還不夠,陳水扁就在張瑋津爆料後指,他知道特偵組很多事,包括有人「炒股票」,不要忘了,總統府炒股案曾經是北檢結案,最近又重啟偵辦的一樁前朝弊案,所 涉者不只是總統府前高層,還包括前第一夫人吳淑珍。陳水扁的含沙射影,讓吳文忠在第一時間跳出來澄清,他手中沒什麼股票,是老婆像一般民眾一樣抽籤買來 的。這個扁企圖掀波的話題就此終了,但已經讓特偵組討論要不要讓朱、吳兩人迴避,手忙腳亂了一陣子。

沒想到,陳水扁還不死心,再度出招,出的還是老招,老招還是造成干擾效應。陳聰明在扁與朱吳歡談照片曝光後,即刻約詢朱、吳兩人,了解情況。說來諷刺,陳 聰明因為夜宴案和調查局洩密案,多次遭到法務部的調查,此刻,他還得負責調查特偵組的檢察官,三人處境相同,誰和陳水扁沾上邊,誰就倒楣!

和扁家沾上邊的人,過去八年多,可能吃香喝辣,風光的時候,沒人想到因為與扁家或深或淺的關係,都得經歷這麼被檢調約談的「初體驗」,從與扁家有房屋買賣 的仲介業,到只不過買了陳幸妤二手車的陳家司機岳父,都得走一趟特偵組,還有許許多多自己渾然不知,只是因為發票成了扁請領國務機要費的單據,就得想破頭 回憶這張發票到底是什麼時候做了什麼用途?

企業界人士更甭說了,從二次金控企業主、營建業者,到最近東元電機董事長黃茂雄夫婦也被約談,黃家與扁家本來就交好,黃茂雄太太還是扁媳黃睿靚的鋼琴老 師,但是關係好是不會被約談的,問題出在黃家竟也有資金匯進扁家,黃茂雄太太的說法是,那是很單純的陳致中結婚禮金,和元大馬家的說詞相同。馬家爆出禮金 六百萬,已經讓人瞠目結舌,原來政商巨賈紅包可以大到這麼大。黃家更絕,他讓社會大眾第一次見識到結婚禮金原來還可以用帳戶匯款的。試想,這筆禮金要大到 多大,才需要以匯款方式送出?錢進帳戶,不是想匯的人就能匯,還得扁家提供帳號啊,扁家不開口,誰有本事匯得了錢進去?身為國家元首用這種方式收禮金,已 經不只是打抽豐了,沒人會忘記,扁家辦喜事前還公開說過「不收禮」,扁家讓謊話簡直成了笑話!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cross-Strait Intrigue: Deceive, Subsidize, Capture, Kill vs. Pretend, Take, Escape,

Cross-Strait Intrigue: Deceive, Subsidize, Capture, Kill vs. Pretend, Take, Escape, Survive
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 19, 2008

Before Chen Yunlin left Taiwan, he said, "You will find it more difficult to do the same things we are doing."

His remark was dead on, and reflected empathy for our plight. If cross-Strait relations can be based on such an understanding, we have reason to be optimistic about Chen Yunlin's goal of "peaceful development."

Why should the Taiwan side find it more difficult to do the same things as the Mainland side? The reasons are manifold. But the main reason is that the Mainland side is autocratic, while the Taiwan side is democratic. When Beijing's leaders adopt a new policy, they can immediately mobilize the nation's resources to implement that policy. Leaders in Taipei on the other hand, must push their policy through the democratic system. They cannot mobilize society's resources any way they desire.

In fact, Chen's observation that, "You will find it more difficult to do the same things we are doing" can be extended. One. If cross-Strait exchanges are conducted via consultation, within a framework of peaceful development, then any difficulties encountered by the Taipei authorities will also be Beijing's difficulties. If the two sides cannot work together to fulfill the expectations of the public on Taiwan, and to resolve their concerns, then Taipei's difficulties will remain difficulties for both sides. Two. Difficulties arising out of Taiwan's democratic institutions are important bargaining chips and security guarantees for Taipei in its negotiations with Beijing. The Taipei authorities must give Taiwan priority. Any agreements must benefit the the public on Taiwan. If the Beijing authorities cannot persuade the public on Taiwan of their sincerity, then those difficulties will be impossible to resolve.

The storm-tossed Chiang/Chen Meeting lasted five days. The two sides now have a better understanding of each other. The difficulties encountered have to do with public psychology. The Chiang/Chen Meeting has helped the two sides, particularly Beijing, to understand that good faith is more important than three links. Cross-Strait exchanges must be based on good faith, and not on trickery. No one should be thinking about who will swallow up whom. They must benefit the public on Taiwan, and convince the public on Taiwan of the viability of Chen Yunlin's framework for peaceful and stable development.

It is hard to avoid thoughts of Machiavellian intrigue when discussing cross-Strait negotiations. Beijing's strategy is "deceive, subsidize, capture, kill." It is to use the vague generalizations of the 1992 Consensus to deceive Taiwan. It is to use three links and Mainland tourism to subsidize Taiwan, to make Taiwan dependent upon the Mainland, in order to capture Taiwan and kill Taiwan. Taipei's strategy is "pretend, take, escape, survive." It is to use the vague generalizations of the 1992 Consensus to pretend to address the problem of reunification instead of actually addressing the problem of reunification. It is to use three links to take what resources it can from the Mainland, then use the resources to escape from Beijing's trap, and survive by seeking cross-Strait co-existence and mutual prosperity.

Such intrigues are transparently obvious to all. Some members of the public on Taiwan oppose the Ma administration's policy of exchanges for fear of falling into Beijing's "deceive, subsidize, capture, kill" trap. Other members of the public on Taiwan support the Ma administration's cross-Strait policy because they hope Taiwan will be able to "pretend, take, escape, survive."

If the two sides really wish to establish a mutually beneficial win-win arrangement, and to coexist and prosper, they must find a way to develop peacefully amidst "deceive, subsidize, capture, kill," without resort to either [immediate] reunification, independence, or war.

The issues bedeviling Taiwan and the Chinese Mainland are unlikely to be resolved by political means. They can only be resolved by winning over the hearts and minds of the people. Mainland China must accelerate its political and economic liberalization. Taiwan must place its trust in its democratic institutions. The public on Taiwan cannot agree on cross-Strait issues for many reasons. These include a lack of practical advantages, a lack of dignity, or the lack of a cross-Strait policy framework. But none of these are the root of the problem. Cross-Strait peaceful development cannot be advanced by means of transparent deception. It can only be advanced by winning over people's hearts and minds. The issues bedeviling Taiwan and the Chinese Mainland can only be resolved by means of democracy and concern for the public welfare.

Machievellians believe that if Beijing allows Taiwan independence to create chaos on Taiwan, it can take over Taiwan without spilling blood. But if Taiwan independence tears Taiwan apart, cross-Strait relations will be even more difficult to resolve. Beijing may find it difficult to extend formal recognition to the Republic of China. But it ought to respond to the Republic of China's calls for Beijing to respect its interests and dignity. Assuring the Republic of China's political and economic stability is the best assurance of cross-Strait stability.

The five day Chiang/Chen Meeting was likely an eye-opener for the Beijing authorities. Peaceful development should replace peaceful reunification. It should form the core for cross-Strait interaction. Without peaceful development there can be no reunification. Any reunification would be uncontrollable, because Taiwan is not Hong Kong, and not Tibet.

2008.11.19 03:17 am




其實,陳雲林的「你比我困難說」亦可稍作延伸或修正。一、兩岸若要透過交流協商來建立「和平發展架構」,則台北當局的「困難」,其實也正是北京當局的「困 難」;雙方當局若不能共同努力來回饋台灣人民的期待,及化解台灣人民的疑慮,「困難」將不只在台灣,而其實是兩岸共同之「困難」。二、台灣因民主機制而產 生的「困難」,其實也正是台灣與大陸交涉的重要折衝籌碼與安全憑藉;台北當局必須堅守「以台灣為主/對人民有利」的底線,而北京當局若不能以真誠實效來說 服感動台灣民眾,即不可能解決「困難」。

經歷這次江陳會的五日風潮,兩岸當局皆應已深刻體認,「困難」的關鍵是在「民心」。因此,江陳會後,兩岸當局(尤其是北京)應當領悟:真誠比三通機制重 要,兩岸交往必須化權謀為真誠;亦即,不宜再有「誰吃掉誰」的念頭,而應先營造一個能夠回饋及說服多數台灣民意的「和平穩定發展架構」。

兩岸今日角力,難謂沒有爾虞我詐的權謀思考。北京方面的權謀是「騙/養/套/殺」:用「九二共識」之類的籠統語言「騙」住台灣,再以開放三通、陸客來台等 「養」台灣,在建立傾斜的依賴關係後「套」住台灣,最後則生殺由之。台灣方面的權謀則是「裝/吃/閃/活」:對「九二共識」等籠統語言「裝」作解決了問題 而不深究,設法促成三通並「吃」大陸的養分,再用養分來建立台灣的主體地位以「閃」避北京的套結,進而謀求兩岸共存共榮的「活」路。



台灣問題、中國問題及兩岸問題,皆不可能以權謀解決,而必須訴諸真誠實效來贏得民心。就中國問題言,應當加速中國內部政治與經濟的改革開放;就台灣問題 言,應將兩岸問題的解決寄託於台灣的民主機制;就兩岸問題言,則台灣民眾不能同意,或沒有實惠,或認為有失尊嚴的兩岸政策架構,皆非務本治本之道。這就是 本文想要表達的主旨:兩岸之「和平發展」,不能靠一眼即可識破的「權謀」,而要真能感動及贏得「民心」。且台灣問題、中國問題與兩岸問題必須在「民主/民 生」上,找到一脈貫通的全盤解決之道。

權謀者的看法甚至認為:北京只要放任台獨亂台,即可兵不血刃地取下台灣;但是,一個若是被台獨撕裂與毀滅的台灣,恐對兩岸關係將是更難以收拾的災難。正確 的道路是,北京即使暫不能「法理承認」中華民國,亦應在「利益議題」及「尊嚴議題」上,回應中華民國。中華民國政治經濟穩定,則兩岸關係自然穩定。


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Democratic Progressive Party: Grow Up!

The Democratic Progressive Party: Grow Up!
A Translation
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
November 18, 2008

In order to prevent himself from being prosecuted, former President Chen Shui-bian has staged a hunger strike. His ploy has sparked considerable sympathy, solidarity, and even indignation. But democracy and the rule of law on Taiwan are hard-won prizes. Both the ruling and opposition parties ought to exercise self-restraint. One should not surrender to emotionalism and refuse to distinguish between right and wrong. One should not file frivolous suits against law enforcement officers merely doing their duty. To do so is irresponsible behavior, and detrimental to the nation's future.

When Chen Shui-bian held high his handcuffed hands, many in the Green Camp felt pain. DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen said she considered it a gross humiliation. Even non-Green Camp individuals, seeing Chen Shui-bian's feeble condition several days into his hunger strike, will find it hard not to feel pity. But this is irrelevant. Behind Chen Shui-bian's pathetic image is a former president and his family up to their necks in major corruption scandals. The uncovering of these scandals has subjected the Chen family to legal prosecution. The prosecutorial system is the last line of defense in the justice system. People count on it to protect themselves and to regulate those in power. Otherwise, absolute power will corrupt, absolutely.

Once criminal investigators and public prosecutors begin their investigation, members of the First Family must be treated the same as other citizens. They must be subject to the same legal constraints. They must answer for their crimes. They must be punished according to the law. Offering a former head of state a few minor courtesies may improve public perception. But Chen Shui-bian will inevitably resort to all sorts of means to cast himself as a long-suffering martyr. One may provide a former head of state under investigation for corruption a few minor courtesies. But once Chen Shui-bian steps down, he has lost his immunity. Whether to extend him such minor courtesies as not using handcuffs, or not detaining him, are of secondary importance. What Chen Shui-bian really wants to evade is the essence of justice.

Compassion is universal. But the deeds committed by a powerful president during his term of office must be subject to the law. Scandals that have emerged must be investigated one by one. Members of the public may idolize him or despise him. If he experiences health problems, he must be given medical care. But his legal rights and responsibilities will remain exactly the same. Is he guilty of corruption? Only the evidence will tell. Only a judge can decide. This is a legal issue, not a popularity contest. This is a factual issue, not an emotional issue. The First Family's involvement in scandals is about right and wrong. Even elementary school children know they may not take money that does not belongs to them. Shouting louder does not make one right. Making oneself into an object of pity does not make one innocent of a crime. One may not take money that does not belong to you, stage a hunger strike, damage one's health, then get off scot-free. Conversetly, if the justice system proves that the Chen family is not guilty of corruption, a hunger strike is irrelevant. Chen Shui-bian will be found not guilty.

Without the rule of law, there can be no democracy. Because the people will lack the means to detect and remove a malignant tumor. It has taken 20 years to establish democracy on Taiwan. Our system of justice was once defective and subject to wide criticism. But a new generation has embraced new ideals. The public expects those charged with administering justice to show more spine. With the public's support, an independent judiciary, unintimidated by those in high office, may be able to establish some credibility with the public. If so, it can provide order amidst chaos, and act as an impartial arbiter. This will establish a foundation for the future of the nation, and become an asset to Taiwan.

Investigators and prosecutors have been busy investigating Green Camp officials. Some have expressed concerns about selective prosecution. Holding suspects without charging them is improper. These merit further discussion. The ROC is still learning the meaning of judicial independence. The administration of justice must be improved. Relevant legal provisions need to be amended one by one. This includes outdated legal procedures. Martial law was lifted on Taiwan 20 years ago. Two changes in the ruling party have taken place. Does the DPP intend to scream "judicial persecution," the way it did 20 or 30 years ago? Does it intend to allow DPP officials to incite violence, and claim that the 228 Incident is happening all over again? Does it intend to claim that "Taiwanese are being bullied?" and complain to the United States? The DPP is making people wonder. Have they traveled "Back to the Future?" Twenty years later, the DPP is still lodging the same complaints. Has Taiwan endured the past 20 years for nothing?

Is it Taiwan that has endured the past 20 years for nothing? Or is it the Democratic Progressive Party? Is Chen Shui-bian's prosecution "humiliating Taiwan?" Or are the DPP's antics humiliating itself?

Problems with the administration of justice should be resolved through judicial channels. Prosecutorial abuse of power may be discussed, If necessary, the laws can be amended to ensure due process. Those dissatisfied with rulings may appeal until the judicial system restores their reputations. If one demonstrates only a selective respect for justice, if one screams "political persecution" each time the court fails to find in one's favor, if one postures as a tragic martyr and incites mobs to take to the streets, then one undermines the hard-won credibility of the justice system, and demonstrates one's lack of respect for the justice system.

The real problem for the Democratic Progressive Party is not any difficulty distancing itself from Ah-Bian, or being hijacked by Deep Green extremists. The real problem is that the public on Taiwan has been patiently waiting for the Democratic Progressive Party to show that it has a conscience, and cares about right and wrong. The Democratic Progressive Party values ethnically-rooted nation-building more highly than it values right and wrong. The Democratic Progressive doesn't care whether the nation regresses and society is polarized. If such a political party were ever to succeed in founding a nation, how would it tell its president elect not to engage in corruption?

中國時報  2008.11.18


的 確,當陳水扁高舉上了手銬的雙手時,很多綠營群眾感到心在淌血,民進黨主席蔡英文也認為是一大羞辱。看到陳水扁絕食多日後的憔悴形影,即使是非綠營民眾, 對此幕難免也有不忍之感。但是,重點其實不在這裡,在陳水扁看來可憐的形象背後,是這位前總統及家人涉及的多起重大貪汙弊案,因為爆發弊案,他們才會開始 接受司法的必要處理程序。司法是正義良知的最後一道防線,人民靠它來保護自己並規範執政者,否則沒有約束的權力必然腐化。

從檢調展開偵辦 動作起,第一家庭就和所有國民一樣,必須接受法律的約束,為自己的行為承擔法律後果,也必須接受司法的裁判。當然,如果對前國家元首多些尊重,外界觀感也 許會好一點。但無論如何,恐怕陳水扁終究會以不同方式塑造自己受苦受難的悲壯形象。畢竟再怎麼給予形式上的禮遇,針對貪瀆犯行的偵辦與審判,陳水扁卸任之 後,就沒有豁免特權了,而形式的上銬或羈押還是次要,陳水扁真正想要規避的是實質的司法。

惻隱之心人皆有之,但一位曾經權傾一時的前總 統,在任期內的所作所為,當然必須接受法律的檢驗,爆出的弊案,也必須一一釐清。民眾可以崇拜他,也可以憎恨他,健康若有問題 必須給予醫療,但他在法律上的權利義務不會因此打任何折扣。更明白講,到底有沒有貪汙,只有證據能說話,只有法官能裁判。這是法律問題,不是人氣問題;是 事實問題,不是同情問題。第一家庭弊案涉及的是最基本的是非,是連小學生都知道的「不可以拿不該拿的錢」,不是聲音大就有理,也不是愈可憐就愈無辜。沒有 說拿錢在先,絕食自傷在後,就可以因此把犯行無罪化。同樣的,如果司法確認扁家未犯貪瀆之罪,不需要絕食,陳水扁也可以得到應有的清白。

沒 有法治,就沒有健全的民主,因為人民將缺乏偵測及割除毒瘤的武器。台灣廿年來逐漸建立起民主政治,曾經深受詬病的司法檢調體系,隨著愈來愈多懷抱理想的新 生代投入,以及在人民對司法風骨的期許支持下,迅速展現出超然獨立與不畏強權的堅持,也逐漸建立起公信力,讓民眾在混亂紛擾中,還有一個可以信任的正義仲 裁。這是國家未來良性發展的重要基礎,也是台灣的一個珍貴資產。

但憑心而論,最近檢調密集偵辦綠營高官,確實令人有過度群體化的疑惑,未 審先押是否適當,也值得進一步討論。和民主一樣,台灣的司法仍在學習改進之中,其中的缺失需要逐一修正,包括若干過時的法規程序,但在此時此刻的台灣,在 解嚴廿多年、政黨輪替兩次的台灣,如果民進黨上下仍和二、三十年前一樣控訴司法迫害,或放任黨內人士的煽動激越言行,包括聲稱二二八事件重演,疾呼台灣人 被欺負,要去美國告狀。不但讓人有今夕何夕、時光倒流之感,還覺得,如果過了廿年,我們喊的還是一樣的控訴,那台灣這廿年不是都白過了?


司 法問題,應該循司法管道解決。檢調是否濫權可以討論,必要時可修法加強規範,不滿判決也可以上訴,直到司法管道還自己清白。但如果對司法只有選擇性的尊 重,一旦不利於己,就動輒高喊政治迫害,大演悲情悲壯博人熱淚甚至鼓勵群眾站出來,不但傷害司法好不容易建立的公信力,還顯現出對司法機制的毫無尊敬。

對 於扁案,民進黨真正的問題,不在態度尷尬或難以切割或被深綠綁住,而是台灣人民左看右看,耐心地等到現在,還看不見「良心」與「是非」在哪裡。如果民進黨 的價值位階中,族群建國高於道德是非,即使國家退化社會對立也無所謂,這樣的政黨,即使真的建國了,請問要怎樣告訴新國家的總統,你不可以貪汙?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ruling and Opposition Parties: No Interference in the Chen Prosecution

Ruling and Opposition Parties: No Interference in the Chen Prosecution
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 17, 2008

The Republic of China government has arrested a former head of state. A long journey has been required to reach the point where such a thing is possible, and reflects changes in the island's democracy. This trial of the century offers us a chance to complete that journey. In reality,whether the case can proceed smoothly, depends upon step by step investigation, and ruling and opposition party non-interference. Neither should intervene in the case by political means.

The Democratic Progressive Party Central Standing Committee is standing behind Chen Shui-bian. It is accusing President Ma of using the judiciary as a political tool. It is accusing the judicial system of abusing its power. In reality the DPP Central Standing Committee is only too happy to be rid of Ah-Bian. Its approach can be characterized a number of ways. The DPP Central Standing Committee must take a stand on the matter of Chen's prosecution, politically and humanistically. The evidence arrayed against Chen Shui-bian is overwhelming. The party know that if it continues to stonewall, it will provoke a public backlash. Therefore it is challenging Ma Ying-jeou and prosecutors only on certain points of order. Meanwhile, it is using Ah-Bian's case to apply pressure on the judicial process. It hopes to "divide and conquer." It hopes to ride to the rescue of Su Feng-chi and Chen Ming-wen.

Democratic Progressive Party's political position is understandable. But its harsh charges against the judicial system are unlikely to win over the public. Leave aside other cases for the moment. Take only Ah-Bian's corruption case. The Special Investigative Unit's investigation has been conducted with enormous care. It is deathly afraid of making the slightest slip-up, for fear that people will jump all over it. The money-laundering case has a million leads. But Chen Shui-bian covered up and destroyed evidence while in office. Following these leads is extremely difficult. If it weren't for the existence of conclusive evidence, would the Special Investigative Unit dare demand Ah-Bian's arrest? If it weren't for Chen family refusal to cooperate with the investigation, would it have felt the need to detain other people? If it weren't for its respect for a former head of state, would it have waited until the last minute to detain him? If it weren't for its respect for civil rights, bordering on reverence, would it have allowed Chen's wife to cite health reasons and ignore subpoenas for two years?

Moreover, the Special Investigative Unit was established during President Chen Shui-bian's term. It was a response to the need to come down swift and hard on high officials' corruption and dereliction of duty. Yet the Democratic Progressive Party is accusing the Special Investigative Unit of being a Ma administration tool against political dissidents. Such irresponsible remarks invert cause and effect. If anything, once Swiss prosecutors sent notice, the public displayed considerable impatience over the Special Investigative Unit's snail-like progress. In the meantime, Chen Shui-bian took advantage of the opportunity to stir up trouble and to invert Right and wrong. The public was deeply dissatisfied with the Special Investigative Unit's failure to bring the case to a close. As we can see, the Special Investigative Unit was caught between a major crime and public expectations. It was in a tough situation. If it weren't for its extraordinary will and ability, it would not have achieved what it has. Both the ruling and opposition parties should affirm and treasure such results, and not run them down.

Let's look back at Taiwan's democratization. The judiciary is not yet fully independent. Two factors are responsible. One. Under authoritarianism, the executive power was dominant and oppressive. Two. Under democracy, political forces engage in intense political struggles. This has made it difficult for the justice system to reject its subordinate status and change its timid nature. To wit, Yeh Sheng-mao's practice of tipping off Chen Shui-bian. Some of Chen Shui-bian's cases were investigated during his term as president. But the investigations were half-baked, and nothing came of them. The second change in ruling parties, and international money-laundering prevention agencies caught wind of money-laundering activities. These factors helped the Special Investigative Unit break through psychological barriers. Otherwise, what are the chances Chen's crimes would have ever seen the light of day?

From an even higher perspective, the Special Investigative Unit no longer fears those in power. This is not so much the result of the second change in ruling parties, as the result of over half a century of democratic evolution. This evolution includes the Democratic Progressive Party, and even Chen Shui-bian. Is the Democratic Progressive Party willing to countenance the wanton destruction of this common legacy? A number of Green Camp public officials have called the case a "New 228 Incident." They are inflicting political violence upon the judicial process. They are destroying democracy and the rule of law. The Democratic Progressive Party has found it difficult to excise Chen Shui-bian. Now the malignancy has spread throughout the body. If the justice system is able to surgically remove the tumor, isn't that good for the party?

Ma Ying-jeou said that Ah-Bian's arrest was no occasion for gloating. That was wise. But it was not enough. The Ma administration and the Pan Blue camp must exercise greater restraint. They must allow prosecutors complete independence. They must avoid any hint of political pressure. They must not give the Green Camp any pretext to cast doubt on the final verdict. Otherwise, given Chen Shui-bian's endless trickery, any misstep could provoke a change in public mood. Matters could spin out of control. The judicial process would lose its equilibrium. It would be difficult to predict the consequences.

Democracy and the rule of law now have a solid foundation. This trial will be their first test. At least now the public on Taiwan understands the meaning of politics and the motives of individual politicians. The public on Taiwan has learned to see matters clearly. Now everyone is waiting to see who has the temerity to throw a political wrench into the wheels of justice.

2008.11.17 01:39 am


民 進黨在第一時間聲援陳水扁的中常會上,指控馬總統以司法為政治工具,並批評司法草率濫權;但黨中央的實際態度卻趨向冷處理。此一作法可以解讀為:黨中央在 政治上及人情上須作必要之表態,但因陳水扁涉貪事證相當具體,黨若繼續硬拗只是徒增社會大眾反感,因此只能就程序問題質疑馬英九和檢方。而利用扁案對司法 施壓,或許可以「圍魏救趙」,達到聲援蘇治芬及陳明文的作用。

民進黨的政治表態雖可理解,但它對司法的嚴厲指控,只怕難獲社會共鳴。其他 案件暫且不論,就扁的貪瀆案而言,特偵組的偵辦一直小心翼翼,生怕稍有差池,落人口實。須知,洗錢案頭緒萬端,尤其經過阿扁任內的遮掩滅跡,重新抽絲剝繭 何其艱難。要不是掌握確鑿跡證,特偵組哪敢聲請押人?若非扁家始終抗拒配合偵查,何須拘押其他周邊人士?又若非基於對前元首的尊重,何必等到最後一刻才將 他收押?若非對人權準據的敬畏,又何致容忍扁嫂以身體為藉口抗傳達兩年?

更何況,特偵組是在陳水扁總統任內成立,目的就是在因應時代需 要,從速、從嚴打擊高官的貪汙瀆職事件。如今,民進黨卻將特偵組說成是馬政府打擊異己的政治工具,這豈非信口雌黃,倒因為果?事實上,在瑞士檢方來函通報 後,一般輿情對特偵組的進展遲緩頗感不耐;而陳水扁在此期間四處演說煽風點火、顛倒黑白,更讓民眾對特偵組的遲未結案深感不滿。可見,特偵組夾處於棘手大 案和外界期待之間,處境並不寬鬆,若非具有過人的意志和能耐,不足辦出今天的成績。對於這樣的成果,朝野都應該善加珍惜,不容恣意破壞。

回 顧台灣的民主進程,司法的獨立性一直未能充分伸展,其間可以看到兩種因素的作用。其一,在威權年代,是受到行政權獨大的壓抑;其二,在民主年代則是過度激 烈的政治角力,讓司法難以擺脫其膽怯和附屬的性格,葉盛茂的通風報信便是明證。陳水扁所涉案件,有些在他總統任內已經偵辦過一輪,卻無疾而終或只辦了一 半。試想,要不是二次政黨輪替,要不是國際洗錢防制機構查獲洗錢情資,幫特偵組推倒了政治心障,這些黑幕哪有重見天日的機會?

再站高一點 看,特偵組如今敢以無畏的眼光直視掌權者,與其說是二次政黨輪替的溢出效果,不如說這是台灣半個多世紀來民主進化的果實;其中,當然也包含了民進黨乃至陳 水扁有過的努力。對於這樣全民共同的文明成果,民進黨難道忍心恣意破壞?綠營若干公職人員將此案喻為「新版二二八事件」,不僅是以政治之手對司法施暴,也 是在摧殘自己曾經追求的民主法治了。更別忘了,在感情上難以與扁切割的民進黨,如今全身已被病毒侵蝕甚深;若能藉由司法的專業手術切除此一惡瘤,對黨應該 是可喜之事,不是嗎?

馬英九對扁遭收押表示「哀矜勿喜」,實屬明智。但這還不夠,馬政府和整個藍營都要更加克制,不僅要給予司法檢調絕對 的獨立空間,更要避免作任何政治暗示,避免以譏誚的言詞激化綠營的不滿。否則,以陳水扁的百變手法,任何閃失都可能引起社會氣氛的變化、甚至失控,從而使 司法無法保持其既有天平,那麼後果即難逆料了。


Friday, November 14, 2008

The Democratic Progressive Party: Licking Blood from the Knife

The Democratic Progressive Party: Licking Blood from the Knife
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 14, 2008

Chen Shui-bian has been taken into custody. The Democratic Progressive Party claims that his arrest has "humiliated the Democratic Progressive Party."
If the DPP is still covering up for Chen Shui-bian, and still considers his words and deeds representative of the Democratic Progressive Party, then Ah-Bian's arrest would of course "humiliate the Democratic Progressive Party." But if the Democratic Progressive Party were to publicly declare that Ah-Bian's words and deeds are serious violations of the values and standards of the Democratic Progressive Party, and do not represent the Democratic Progressive Party, then how precisely would Ah-Bian's arrest "humiliate the Democratic Progressive Party?"

Some say that if anybody should be setting off firecrackers in response to Chen Shui-bian's arrest, it is officials of the Democratic Progressive Party. They may have been jesting, but they were right on the mark. Over the past few months, Chen Shui-bian has been running amok, attempting to make a comeback. On October 25 he was welcomed by crowds at Jingfu Men, who shouted, "Ah-Bian, way to go!" Over the past few months the DPP has been attempting to transition to an "era without Chen Shui-bian." To its dismay, it suddenly found itself inextricably entangled with Chen Shui-bian. As a result, the party's image has suffered, and the party's ideals have been compromised. Now that Ah-Bian has been arrested, the Democratic Progressive Party need no longer remain Ah-Bian's hostage. It ought to seize the opportunity to heal itself, and give itself a new lease on life.

Inexplicably, a counter-current has emerged from within the Democratic Progressive Party. The DPP Central Committee has spun Chen's criminal prosecution as a case of "the justice system becoming a political tool." This spin, disseminated through the ranks and to the public, has morphed into a "humiliation of the Democratic Progressive Party," a "humiliation of the people of Taiwan," and "breaking the hearts of the people of Taiwan." The DPP legislative caucus has even spun it as a "new 228 Incident." Most incomprehensible of all, Luo Wen-chia, Tuan Yi-kang, and other DPP black sheep have opportunistically accused the Special Investigative Unit of "pandering to the mob" and "subverting justice."

Chen Shui-bian has been arrested. He is no longer running amok. He can no longer make trouble for the Democratic Progressive Party. As a result, representatives of this counter-current have chosen to intervene on his behalf. They know their intervention will not allow Chen Shui-bian to expand his influence. They calculate that by expressing sympathy and solidarity with Ah-Bian they can reap the rewards of "chivalrous conduct" at little or no expense to themselves. In short, the Democratic Progressive Party wants a free lunch. No sooner was Ah-Bian was arrested, than they seized the opportunity to attack the justice system on Ah-Bian's behalf. In fact, they are "licking blood from the knife." Aren't they afraid of cutting their own tongues?

The DPP says that trying Chen Shui-bian "humiliates the people of Taiwan," that it amounts to a "new 228 Incident." Are such arguments reasonable? Are they fair? The Democratic Progressive Party insists that "arresting Chen Shui-bian humiliates the Democratic Progressive Party." In fact it is Chen Shui-bian's scandals that have humiliated the Democratic Progressive Party. The DPP insists that arresting Chen Shui-bian has "broken the hearts of many Taiwanese." In fact it is Chen Shui-bian's insatiable greed and rampant corruption that have broken the hears of many Taiwanese. The Democratic Progressive Party insists that arresting Chen Shui-bian is "tearing society apart and creating social polarization." Have they forgotten how Chen Shui-bian and the DPP have been tearing apart society and creating social polarization? The Democratic Progressive Party wants to spin Chen Shui-bian's arrest as a "new 228 Incident." Are they responding to the will of the majority? Or are they defying the will of the majority?

Polls reveal that only 11% of the public believes that Chen's prosecution is "legal persecution"; 60% percent considers Chen's prosecution a clear case of prosecuting corruption. Only 8% believe that bailiffs beat Chen Shui-bian; 63% do not. What exactly are the Democratic Progressive Party's political moves accomplishing? Should they continue pandering to the fringe, to the point where they can no longer extricate themselves? Or should they reconsider what mainstream society expects of the DPP?

It is Chen Shui-bian who has humiliated the Democratic Progressive Party. The Democratic Progressive Party continues to stand up for Ah-Bian. It cannot bring itself to disown Ah-Bian, This is what has brought disgrace upon the party. Chen Shui-bian's most grievous sin was to destroy society's core values. The Democratic Progressive Party is entitled to demand that the justice system adhere strictly to due process. But it is not entitled to defame the justice system. Luo Wen-chia and others who are demagoguing Chen Shui-bian's arrest, are abetting criminal wrongdoing.

Chen Shui-bian is currently "fasting." He has issued a "ten-point statement." He is hoping to set the poltical agenda. He may be released after being held for two months. If the DPP can not control this counter-current; if pro-Chen elements within the party seize control, the DPP may find itself riding a tiger.

The problem with Chen Shui-bian is a problem with society's core values. The public sees Chen Shui-bian's arrest as a defense of society's core values. If the Democratic Progressive Party perists in uncritically supporting Ah-Bian, it will only dig itself a deeper hole.

The public sees Chen Shui-bian's arrest as the long overdue prosecution of a corrupt official. If the DPP attempts to spin this as a "228 Incident, Redux," what will it be doing, but licking blood from the knife?

2008.11.14 02:51 am



有人說,陳水扁被收押,最該放鞭炮的是民進黨;語雖嘲謔,卻是一語中的。過去幾個月,陳水扁四處趴趴走,鹹魚翻生,出現一○二五景福門前眾人高呼「阿扁加 油」的場景;但民進黨卻在這幾個月中,從宣示開創一個「沒有陳水扁的時代」,竟而突然陷入一個被陳水扁糾纏不放,以致黨的形象日益惡化、黨的路線愈益混濁 的困境之中。如今,扁被收押,民進黨暫可中止被扁凌遲;自應趁機療傷止痛,開創新生。

但是,此際似乎在民進黨中竟又出現一股逆流。黨中央對扁案的定調是「司法淪為政治工具」,此一論調向下向外延伸演化後,就成了「羞辱民進黨」,「羞辱台灣 人」,「使台灣人心碎」,甚至立院黨團將之定性為「新二二八事件」。尤其令人匪夷所思的是,連羅文嘉及段宜康等原持批判立場者,在扁被收押後,也立刻發表 投機性的言論,指特偵組「譁眾取寵」、「破壞正義」。

陳水扁被押,現在已不能趴趴走,也就不能為民進黨製造麻煩;因而,這一股逆流自會覺得,此時醞釀一種為陳水扁打抱不平的氛圍,既不會助長陳水扁趴趴走的氣 焰,又可藉對扁表示同情與聲援,以收「情義相挺」的順水人情。民進黨若打著這種「無本生意」的如意算盤,在扁被收押後反而開始藉攻擊司法來挺扁,不啻刀口 舔血,難道不怕會割破民進黨的舌頭?

審判陳水扁就是「羞辱台灣人」,就是「新二二八事件」;這樣的論述是否理性?是否公平?民進黨咬定「收押陳水扁就是羞辱民進黨」,但其實是陳水扁的醜行惡 跡「羞辱了民進黨」。民進黨認為「收押陳水扁,傷了很多台灣人的心」,但其實是「陳水扁的大貪巨腐,傷了更多台灣人的心」。民進黨說,收押陳水扁是「撕裂 社會/製造對立」,何不回想這幾年來一直到今天,陳水扁及民進黨更是如何「撕裂社會/製造對立」?民進黨若要把「審判陳水扁」操作成「新版二二八」,這究 竟是回應多數民意,或是要與主流社會為敵?






Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Impact of Three Direct Links on the "Nation of Taiwan"

The Impact of Three Direct Links on the "Nation of Taiwan"
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 12, 2008

The most important achievement of the Chiang/Chen Meeting is the full scale implemention of three direct links. The Democratic Progressive Party launched violent large scale protests. But it did not raise a single objection to three direct links. This is both puzzling and thought-provoking.

The Democratic Progressive Party knows that three directs links is a macro level trend. Therefore it has no reason to object. On the other hand, the Democratic Progressive Party knows that the implementation of three direct links has reached a point of no return, both in cross-strait transportion and in social psychology. Therefore, the Green Camp's anxiety level has skyrocketed, even though it is unable to offer any reason for opposing such links. Their loss of focus has led to desperation. Their desperation has led to violence. Their violence has led to bloodshed in the streets.

The merits of three direct links have been subjected to two decades of debate. Globalization pressures, the Mainland's increasing economic and trade influence, and Taiwan's marginalization, have finally led to today's scenario. In fact, the three links signed into law by the Chiang/Chen Agreement was something the DPP sowed and the KMT reaped. That is why no one is openly objecting to today's implementation of three direct links. The only laments heard are that they should have been implemented years ago.

Three links are essential to Taiwan's economic survival. They are a prerequisite for Taiwan's development into a region platform or regional center. But the political impact of three links is that Taiwan will only be able to take the Republic of China path. It will no longer be possible to establish a "Nation of Taiwan."

If the Democratic Progressive Party opposes three direct links, it should have declared openly that it would oppose them to the death during the Chiang/Chen Meeting. It should have declared openly that if the Democratic Progressive Party ever regains power, it will immediately terminate the three direct links, including direct flights.

The reality is that even the Democratic Progressive Party does not dare to oppose direct flights. How could it possibly terminate direct flights? The Democratic Progressive Party opposed the Chiang/Chen Meeting, but it dared not oppose direct flights. The result was an utterly pointless and bloody confrontation in the streets.

During the Chiang/Chen Meeting, the Green Camp waved the Republic of China flag. Green Camp leaders demanded that the name of the Republic of China be preserved, and the dignity of the Republic of China President be upheld. At one level, this was merely a way for the Green Camp to mock the ruling administration for inability or unwillingness to defend the title and dignity of the Republic of China. But at a deeper level, this revealed that even the Green Camp is dimly aware that the strongest line of defense in the Taiwan Strait is the Republic of China, and not their fictitious "Nation of Taiwan."

During the October 25 Democratic Progressive Party rally, Green Camp leaders went so far as to hold high portraits of Chiang Kai-shek. It was as if we had returned to the Republic of China of the 1950s, and were using "Exterminate the Communist Bandits" as a battle cry against today's mainland. Three direct links have forced the DPP to return to the Republic of China path.

The Republic of China and the "Nation of Taiwan" are Taiwan's two major political and economic survival strategies. Domestic and foreign experience over the past 20 years has show that the Republic of China path may be difficult to traverse, but the "Nation of Taiwan" path is a road to nowhere. Three direct links is a policy that the Democratic Progressive Party sowed, and the KMT reaped. Its implementation confirms that Taiwan has no choice but to choose the Republic of China path, and must abandon the "Nation of Taiwan" path. That is because three direct links is not merely an economic and trade policy; it is a political and economic strategy that has passed the point of no return.

In fact, the "Nation of Taiwan" opposes three direct links, but is afraid to say so. This is because Taiwan independence advocates know if three direct links are further delayed, Taiwan's economic situation will deteriorate even farther. The "Nation of Taiwan's" policy of opposing direct flights can no longer be maintained. The three direct links have crossed the point of no return. The concept of a "Nation of Taiwan" is now more unrealistic than ever.

Therefore, unless the Democratic Progressive Party opposes three direct links, and declares it will terminate three direct links if it ever regains power, it has only one choice. It must choose the Republic of China's definition of national identity and cross-strait policy. It can no longer propose a "Nation of Taiwan." Can anyone imagine three direct links co-existing with a "Nation of Taiwan?"

During this unreasoning and bloody street confrontation, the Democratic Progressive Party was gripped by anxiety over three direct links. Instead of softening or playing down its demands for Taiwan independence, it issued shrill demands to "Eradicate the Communist Bandits," to "Attack the Envoy," and to "Let the Streets Run Red," as its means of advocating a "Nation of Taiwan." It abandoned all pretense of reason. In effect, the DPP painted itself into a corner. Yet Tsai Ing-wen characterized it as a "glorious victory."

The era of three direct links has arrived. It is time for the "Nation of Taiwan" to engage in new thinking. The DPP must reaffirm the political framework of the Republic of China. If it continues to define its national identity and cross-strait policy according to the political framework of a "Nation of Taiwan," it will merely rip the island apart, both in the parliament and in the streets.

Chen Yunlin's visit replaced "peaceful reunification" with "peaceful development." By the same token, the DPP must snap out of its "Nation of Taiwan" pipe dream, and come home, to the Republic of China.








「江陳會」期間,常見綠營舉出中華民國國旗,並時聞捍衛國號或總統名銜的言論。從表面看,這只是綠營用以羞辱主政者的手法,譏其不能或不敢維護「中華民 國」的國格與尊嚴;但就深一層看,這也顯示,綠營在潛意識上亦已感知,兩岸對陣的防線是在「中華民國」,而非在虛擬的「台灣國」。


「中華民國」與「台灣國」,是台灣政經生存戰略的兩大選項。二十年來的內外經歷顯示,「中華民國」的出路誠是艱辛萬狀,但「台灣國」卻必是死路一條。其 實,三通直航之所以走到今日「民進黨興工/國民黨剪綵」的地步,也就是印證了台灣不得不選擇「中華民國」的路線,而否棄了「台灣國」的路線。因為,三通不 只是經貿政策,且是一個穿越不回歸點的政經綜合戰略。



但是,這一場不可理喻的街頭流血卻顯示,民進黨在三通直航的焦慮中,竟然非但沒有柔化或隱化台獨主張,反而變本加厲地訴諸「消滅共匪」、「侵襲來使」、 「街頭流血」的手段來主張「台灣國」;這是喪失理智的表現,民進黨形同在兩岸政策上將自己逼到死巷牆角,但蔡英文卻視此為「光榮的勝利」。



Corrupt Official or Political Prisoner? Let the Law Decide

Corrupt Official or Political Prisoner? Let the Law Decide
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 12, 2008

Yesterday, former President Chen Shui-bian was arrested and handcuffed. The shocking images were unprecedented in the history of our nation. His arrest has become the focus of media attention at home and abroad. Chen Shui-bian may rail about political persecution. The ruling and opposition camps may attack each other. But from this moment forward, let the justice system do the talking. Please respect the independence of the judiciary.

Prosecutors have been investigating the First Family's corruption for some time. Cases under investigation include the State Affairs Expenses scandal, the Secret Diplomacy scandal, the Swiss government's revelations of secret accounts for the purpose of money-laundering, and the Nankang Exhibition Hall scandal. The cases snowballed, and the pressure to prosecute intensified. First Family members were questioned one after the other. Former Presidential Office Accountant Chen Cheng-hui, Tsai Ming-Jer, a crony of Wu Shu-chen, former Presidential Office Director Lin Teh-hsiung, Ma Yung-cheng, Wu Shu-chen's brother Wu Jingmao, former Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien, former Bureau of Investigation Chief Yeh Sheng-mao, and former Secretary-General of the National Security Council Chiou I-jen, have all been arrested, Step by step the dragnet has been tightened, until Chen Shui-bian has finally been brought to justice and forced to account for the flagrant corruption during his term of office.

Chen Shui-bian knew full well that prosecutors were closing in on him. His counter-strategy is to politicize a purely criminal matter. He has repeatedly traveled about the island seeking grass-roots support. He has affected the posture of a heroic martyr in an effort to provoke controversy. He has attempted to create the impression that he is a political prisoner. He has spun his prosecution for corruption as political persecution by the KMT and the CCP. He has boasted that he is willing to "bear a cross" for Taiwan, and to enter the "Bastille" for the sake of Taiwan. Yesterday, when he was arrested, he deliberately exposed the handcuffs on his wrists and shouted "political persecution" and "Long Live Taiwan." He alleged that he was beaten by the police. These ploys are merely intended to make the outside world believe he is a political prisoner, instead of a corrupt, money-grubbing former official.

Today's Taiwan is completely different from the Taiwan that existed when he entered the Tucheng Detention Center years ago. It is different in its democratic development and different in the professionalism and autonomy of its prosecutors and criminal investigators. For Chen to boast that he is a political prisoner, is an insult to the island's democracy and rule of law. It also underestimates the intelligence of the public on Taiwan.

The Taiwan Development Corporation scandal and the State Affairs Fund scandal erupted during President Chen Shui-bian's term of office. The Special Investigative Unit was also established during his administration. Yet Yeh Sheng-mao helped Chen suppress the report on his secret bank accounts issued by the Egmont Group, the international anti-money-laundering organization. Rank and file prosecutors may not have always been on the same page in in their ongoing investigations. Their procedures may have been controversial. But at least the judiciary was finally independent, and no longer a political tool for those in power.

Chen Shui-bian's survival strategy is to transform his criminal prosecution into a political conflict. He knows his legal defense is full of holes. Therefore he needs to incite political conflict. If the cost to society is high enough, prosecutors may seek a political solution. One can safely predict that he will continue to act out the part of a victim of political persecution.

But events may not follow Chen Shui-bian's plan. Chen Shui-bian's influence expanded with the October 25 protest march. But with the siege of ARATS President Chen Yunlin in Taipei, Chen Shui-bian's marginalization within the Green Camp had begun. The focus returned to the KMT vs. DPP struggle over cross-strait relations, to whether the police used excessive force, to whether the Assembly and Parade Law should be amended, and to the "Wild Strawberry" student protest. Chen Shui-bian tried to get in on the game, but he had already lost his place at the table.

Moreover, after this battle, the Green Camp had already validated DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen's status as Green Camp leader. Pan Green masses anxious about the loss of "Taiwanese" sovereignty no longer needed to rely on Chen Shui-bian. The next confrontation and dialogue between the ruling and opposition parties, will be between the KMT and DPP. This will be the basic political framework on Taiwan for the near future. Chen Shui-bian's attempt to hijack public sentiment and to set the political agenda died, stillborn. The students rejected Chen Shui-bian's attempt to hitch a ride on their bandwagon. The Democratic Progressive Party has even less intention of bearing the Chen family cross. It refuses to lend further assistance to Chen Shui-bian. Unless Chen Shui-bian can latch onto some other issue, he has shot his wad.

Prosecutors and investigators have been investigating and even arresting Green Camp people at an acceleratd rate. Case information that should have remained confidential has been leaked. Fact and rumor are often hard to discern. On the one hand, this has led to trial by media. On the one hand, this has given some the feeling that the long arm of the law is suddenly descending upon them. Memories of past persecution and today's reality overlap, and suddenly it's yesterday once more. The Democratic Progressive Party has called upon the judiciary to safeguard human rights. This is a reasonable request. The proper authorities should immediately investigate leaks from prosecutors and investigators. Suspects are innocent until proven guilty. This principle applies to everyone, including Chen Shui-bian.

Taiwan is truly different from what it was in the past. Political persecution is a thing of the past. Under the close watch of the people as a whole, law enforcement officials should be able to prosecute cases without having to look over their shoulders. Investigative and evidentiary procedures must be above reproach. They must be acceptable to all walks of life. Each case must meet the requirements of justice. They must be handled according to due process. Prosecuting Chen Shui-bian will take time. Since it is a criminal case, the courts alone have a say in the matter. This is Lesson One in our class on the rule of law.

中國時報  2008.11.12
貪汙犯或政治犯 請讓司法講話


檢 調偵辦第一家庭弊案已有相當時日,繼國務機要費案、機密外交案之後,瑞士祕密洗錢帳戶曝光,南港展覽館弊案更傳出收賄情事。隨著案件愈爆愈多、案情愈滾愈 大,第一家庭成員陸續被約談,前總統府出納陳鎮慧、吳淑珍友人蔡銘哲、前總統辦公室主任林德訓、馬永成、吳淑珍兄長吳景茂、前內政部長余政憲、調查局長葉 盛茂、前國安會祕書長邱義仁等紛紛遭到收押,在一步步收網下,接著陳水扁當然必須直接面對司法,也面對在他任內因他的職權而發生的許多不法貪瀆案件。

而 陳水扁也很清楚,檢調偵辦的動作正逐漸向他逼近,而他選擇以政治手段來反擊。在頻頻前往基層進行「取暖之旅」時,他擺出悲壯形象,以各種煽動說詞,力圖塑 造這是一場政治黑獄的印象,把司法動作解釋為國共聯手迫害他。但他願意為台灣揹十字架,進入台灣的「巴士底獄」。昨天在遭到聲押時,他還故意高舉手上的手 銬,大喊「政治迫害」、「台灣加油」,又聲稱遭到警察毆打。這些動作,無非是為了讓外界相信他是一個受難的政治犯,而不是一個A錢的貪汙犯。


何 況,之前的台開案和國務機要費案,都是在陳水扁擔任總統的任內爆發,特偵組也是在他任內成立,甚至葉盛茂還為他掩蓋國際艾格蒙反洗錢組織通報祕密帳戶的 事。在這種狀況下,基層檢調人員持續的偵辦動作,看得出對司法獨立有其自主堅持,儘管各單位的步調手法未必齊一,程序也可能有些爭議處,但至少已不再是昔 日受政治指揮的工具了。


但 事情的發展未必會照著陳水扁的如意算盤,最近的跡象顯示,原本在一○二五大遊行時聲勢大漲的陳水扁,到了大陸海協會會長陳雲林來台及圍城行動後,在反對陣 營中反而開始邊緣化。因為議題主軸回到國民黨與民進黨的兩岸路線角力、警方執法過當、集遊法修正與學生發起野草莓運動,陳水扁雖試圖參一腳,但主戰場裡已 沒有他的空間了。

而且,經此一役,民進黨主席蔡英文的領導地位獲得綠營群眾的認可,焦慮於主權流失的群眾不必再依靠陳水扁,接下來的朝野 對抗及對話,都會重回國、民兩黨的互動,這將是未來一段時間裡台灣政治運作的主要架構。陳水扁想偷走民氣與議題主導權的企圖,因而也隨之破功。學生拒絕陳 水扁表態插花,民進黨更無意再扛扁家這個十字架,缺乏進一步奧援的陳水扁,除非能再找到其他切入議題,否則會面臨資源開始耗竭的困境。

最 近檢調偵辦乃至收押綠營人士的動作頻仍,原本應該偵查不公開的資訊也不斷流出,真假難辨下,一方面形成未審先判的媒體現象,一方面又讓有些人有司法之網突 然鋪天蓋地而來之感。昔日司法迫害的記憶和今日的情景重疊,彷彿昨日重現。民進黨呼籲維護司法人權,這是很合理的要求,偵辦資訊外流的問題,有關單位確實 應該立即檢討防堵。未定罪前都是清白的,這個原則是每個人應有的權利,陳水扁也一樣。

然而,真的,台灣已經和過去不一樣了,政治辦案與司 法迫害都已走入歷史。在全體國人的嚴格注視下,司法人員應該有充分獨立自主的辦案空間,而偵辦程序、蒐證、調查是否周延確實,在法律上立於不敗,也必須接 受各界評判。各個案件都應回歸司法,由司法單位依法處理。扁案的訴訟程序還會拖很久,既然是司法案件,就只有司法有權說話,這是台灣邁入民主法治的第一 課。