Taiwan breach of trust scandal called a Kuomintang ‘power play’ by netizens

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's allegations against Legislative Yuan leader Wang Jin-pyng have inspired heavy online criticism

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 September, 2013, 5:50pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 September, 2013, 11:25pm

The political fallout that has emerged in the midst of influence-peddling allegations in Taiwan has inspired strong reactions online, and many netizens have taken to the internet to express their disapproval of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou.

This vocal reaction comes in light of accusations against prominent Kuomintang party member Wang Jin-pyng, who is also president of Taiwan’s lawmaking body, the Legislative Yuan. On September 8, Ma accused Wang of meddling in court cases and lobbying a former justice minister to appeal against the acquittal of Ker Chien-ming, a lawmaker for the opposition’s Democratic Progressive Party.

Calling Wang's actions a "most serious infringement of Taiwan judicial independence," Ma urged that Wang’s credibility be seriously looked into. Other Kuomintang members have since called for Wang to resign.

The extent of Wang's actions has yet to be determined, since the legislative speaker was in Malaysia for his daughter’s wedding during the time of Ma’s allegations. Wang is expected to return to Taiwan tonight to face the Kuomintang’s Central Discipline Committee in what the China Post called “one of the biggest challenges in his career.”  

Many Taiwanese Facebook users said it was too early to determine Wang’s guilt. Most saw Ma's accusations as a "political power play," and even as a means of "crippling the competition within the Kuomintang."

“[It’s] too bad [Ma’s] principals [have] always been … [to] eliminate all opposition and tolerate no dissention,” one netizen wrote, pointing out that even though Ma and Wang were technically in the same party, the two had been at loggerheads before, and Wang’s role as leader of the Legislative Yuan had led to many unpassed bills.

Others hypothesized that Wang was being removed from the KMT as part of a political purging designed to bring the party’s goals more closely aligned with those of the mainland.

“Wang obviously is no cohort to Ma and that is why so many bills do not pass in the legislature, which was probably in Ma’s view due to Wang’s lack of loyalty and diligence,” wrote southern Taiwan resident John Cheng on his Facebook in response to an article on the controversy by local newspaper Taipei Times. “If Wang can be removed, then the bills, especially [those] regarding [Taiwan and mainland] cross strait affairs will be passed soon and thus greatly promote the unification between both sides.”

Not all commentators spoke out against Ma. Some criticised Wang’s tenure as leader of the Legislative Yuan, arguing that what they perceived as an inability to pass bills and regulate unruly lawmakers had “damaged Taiwan’s image” more than anything Ma had done.

Others said that corruption was prevalent in both the Kuomintang and Democratic Progressive Party, and needed to be dealt with accordingly.

“I support President Ma's decisions,” one netizen wrote. “I did not like him initially, but I’ve come to realise that he [must deal with] so many shady sides of our government that normal people cannot see.”