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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Official should be sacked over false report

Official should be sacked over false report

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A video of Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) recorded this month showing him signing a guest book at the funeral of the mother of a friend in Pingtung County was downloaded by a man surnamed Chan (詹), who uploaded it to Facebook. In a caption, Chan said the video showed Su attending the funeral of railway police officer Lee Cheng-han (李承翰), who on July 3 was fatally stabbed while responding to a disturbance on a train in Chiayi City and that Su acted arrogantly by throwing the pen on the table after signing.

The captioned video was also posted on the Line social media platform, where it went viral.

Although the facts were quickly clarified, there has been a lot of rumor and speculation.

However, it was revealed that one of the people spreading the captioned video was Investigation Bureau Kaohsiung Office Deputy Director Yan Cheng-yi (顏正義).

According to the bureau, Yan received the video from a university classmate on Line on the evening of July 7 and then casually forwarded it to the investigation team’s Line group.

Soon after that, another of Yan’s university classmates messaged him that the video was “fake news,” so Yan prepared to send a “misinformation warning” message to the group.

However, at that moment, Yan received a telephone call from a supervisor with questions about the video.

Yan told the supervisor that the video was inappropriate, and “unsent” it.

The bureau said that if anyone had violated the bureau’s regulations, they would receive severe punishment.

In 2000, a retired intelligence officer poured red ink on then-president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) head, but Lee did not pursue the incident. Not long afterward, soldiers on duty painted a picture of then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on a shooting range target.

When told about it, Chen smiled and did nothing.

Given this, an Investigation Bureau branch office deputy director “casually forwarding” unconfirmed information mocking Su might have once been another case that deserved forgiveness and was nothing to make a fuss over.

However, the attacks, humiliation and embarrassment of pan-green camp leaders are based on hate. For the pan-blue camp, the transition of government power was the end of the nation and for intelligence officers still subscribing to the party-state ideology it meant serving “the enemy.”

As they are too weak to rebel, they create obstacles and play dirty tricks, because based on experience, they think they can get away with it.

The Democratic Progressive Party has been trying its best to build trust and show sincerity, but some people still do not buy it, and many former generals, high-ranking intelligence officials and government leaders have rushed to China, some to sell out the nation and some to get attention, all for their own benefit.

Turning a blind eye to such incidents would only lead to further humiliation, and more compromises would only create more obstacles.

Someone in Yan’s position must stay strictly neutral, fulfill their responsibilities and apply self-discipline.

However, not only did Yan “casually forward” misinformation, he also started quibbling and making excuses after being caught red-handed and did not repent.

The Ministry of Justice and the bureau must expel this evil pan-blue attitude from the nation’s intelligence services and they should start by punishing Yan.

Ling Po-chih is a former head of the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office.

Translated by Lin Lee-kai

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2019/07/15

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