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Nov 17, 2011

Next Magazine right for once?

Too early to say. Obviously, the rag Next Magazine is not exactly a bastion of accuracy, but they recently had an article saying President Ma Ying-jeou had a recent secret meeting with Gambling Kingpin Chen Ying-chu (陳盈助) in Chiayi on Sept. 10 and asked for a huge donation.  "According to the magazine, Chen is allegedly in charge of major underground betting activities on local elections." Read the Taipei Times coverage here.

I wouldn't have paid this story any mind at all except that Ma's office has released his schedule from Sept 10th as evidence there was no such secret meeting. Unfortunately for Ma, scrutiny of that list quickly revealed a potentially weak alibi. You can find reports in September newspapers about everything on Ma's schedule that day except for a two and a half hour "symposium with scholars" 「學者座談會」. That is to say, no media knew about the symposium; Ma will probably be asked at this point to point out who was there, what they talked about, etc.

I would have to suggest that Ma's image as a "clean" politician will require some real proof to change, but a political donation would be more believable to most than directly lining his own pockets. It's hard to say what kind of scandal this could become, but related stories are quite hot right now on the site.

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