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Apr 20, 2009

Laundry list of sins

It can be hard to remember all the ways in which the KMT government under President Ma Ying-jeou has been pushing Taiwan back from the progress made during the DPP's last 8 years into darker times. So Wei-chen does us the favor of cataloging them, providing links to Chinese media as well. Here's a few of the choice ones:

  • Changing the name of Taiwan Post back to Chunghwa Post
  • Worshipping Chiang Ching-kuo [only a slight exaggeration of the government sponsored celebration a few weeks ago commemorating what would have been his 100th birthday]
  • Changing the name of Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall back to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
  • Having certain government officials dealing with China take a test on the Chinese constitution [as MT pointed out to me, this actually makes more sense than it sounds like]
  • Seriously curtailing human rights during ARATS head Chen Yun-lin's visit to Taiwan
  • Re-opening the mausoleum of Chiang Kai-shek.
  • Reintroducing the serviceman's doctrine.
  • Reintroducing a song at the Army's military academy which includes the line, "the [KMT] party flag waves"
  • Reintroducing the military song "I love China"
  • The Taipei City government specifically doing checks on the book sof pro-Green businesses
  • Asking departments to check on what male civil servants wear when on duty to make sure it is appropriate (really necessary?)
  • The MOI asking the CNA to alter its reporting to be more China- and Ma-friendly
  • Reintroducting student formations in the Double Ten parade
  • Putting military instructors in middle and elementary schools and re-expanding their roles
  • The police breaking up legal private assemblies
... and a few other curtailings on freedom of speech and reintroduction of martial-law era practices.

And now, the government wants to erase the past about the white terror. Not to mention the party property issue I talked about yesterday.

So how much of this questionable report was accurate, in the end?

4 comments:

Carlos said...

I'm actually okay with changing the name of the Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall back. It was a sick joke to associate Chiang Kai-Shek's memorial with democracy.

My other half is Spanish, and they have a remarkably similar history up to 1975. Franco had a grandiose mausoleum built for himself (by political prisoners, as the story goes). Spanish people see it for what it is and visit it either out of morbid curiosity (it's supposed to be quite fancy), or because they're avowed fascists.

But restoring Chiang Kai-Shek's honor guard? That's scary, as well as the rest of your post.

Thomas said...

"It was a sick joke to associate Chiang Kai-Shek's memorial with democracy."

This kind of misses the point. I have never liked the name "Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall" either. I have always thought the name changing went on too hastily and that it is fair to criticise the DPP for the hurried way in which the deed was done.

However, the facts remain that this memorial is the centrepiece of Taipei, and that the memorial in its current form does glorify the rule of a dictator who put the island through much hardship. At the very least, I think the Ma government should have consulted the public before changing the name back to the original one by fiat and come up with a name that could please everyone. This would have shown that his party had truly turned a page and was ready to accept the diversity of opinions in modern Taiwan. But the name was simply changed back, revealing the hypocrisy of his administration, which had so criticised the DPP for supporting a hasty name change a few months earlier.

Carlos, Franco was Spanish, and his rule undoubtedly burdened many Spaniards of his time. CKS was a foreigner who brought a band of foreign invaders into Taiwan and who subjugated the local population for decades. So by willingly restoring the name of the hall and opening wide the doors without consulting the public, Ma patched the foundations of more than just the reputation of a historical icon. He reinforced the KMT-enforced ethnic division that has scarred Taiwan for half a century. This too was hypocritical. Didn't Ma campaign on a platform of healing Taiwan's ethnic divisions?

Luby Liao said...

I wrote a comment at:

How to publicize KMT's crimes against humanity?

阿牛 said...

cool link there Luby!

I also think the CKS hall could remain open in some form. I liked it with the democratization display along side with kites. That was pretty cool.