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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Ching Fu case chance to clean up politics

Ching Fu case chance to clean up politics

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While the scandal surrounding the government’s contract with Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co provides a glimpse of the ugliest side of officialdom, the dogfight between the pan-blue and pan-green camps might result in new political developments in Taiwan.

After all, regardless of the outcome of the case, the two camps have done everything they can to expose each other’s dirty secrets. It is unavoidable that they each will end up weakened and that is certain to change the political climate.

The two camps have made unforgivable mistakes in the course of this political drama, and their members see only other people’s wrongdoings rather than reflecting on their own mistakes.

It is clear that the scandal will devour everyone, be they blue or green, and it is clear that the approved companies encountered no problems as money was shifted to them by the government and some even received help from several “powerful people.”

The two camps are busy blaming each other, but the question is if the public will accept this constant passing of the buck.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration definitely has to shoulder the blame for Ching Fu representatives having free access to the Presidential Office, but the question is whether President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her administration have moved to stop these practices.

While appearing to be pursuing the truth in the case, the two camps have made the same mistake, which is to repeatedly set up firewalls in order to protect Ma or Tsai, without understanding that this points to even more logical inconsistencies. All these bits and pieces will come back to bite them and damage the future of their political parties.

For example, the resignation of Kaohsiung Marine Bureau director-general Wang Tuan-jen (王端仁) has highlighted Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu’s (陳菊) practices. There must have been political motives behind former Cabinet secretary-general Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) serving as an intermediary for Ching Fu.

The biggest problem for the two camps is that they lack the vision that a party should have and seek only short-term benefits by attacking each other. That is why there are so many cases of collusion between the government and the business sector.

The fact that Ching Fu could continue its business unhindered even after a change of government, and allowing such interests and benefits to override party concerns is a tragedy for both sides.

Ching Fu has revealed the irregularities that take place in politics. It is likely that this case will not end well: At the end of the day, it involves too many issues. However, as things develop, we will get a chance to take a closer look at our politicians and political parties.

The two camps have their own political stance, but when their interests overlap, the result can be completely unexpected. This is what is most worrying about both camps and it is also the main reason why this case was only exposed more than a year after the change of government.

This is why we can look forward to the scandal revealing the interests of the pan-blue and the pan-green camps and cleaning up Taiwanese politics.

Li Kuan-long is a lecturer at Shih Chien University’s Kaohsiung campus.

Translated by Lin Lee-Kai

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2017/11/24

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