Siew Jingwen, 75, sits proudly at the counter of the 'February 28' museum, which honours the estimated 30,000 Taiwanese killed by the Kuomintang army and police in 1947. 'I was arrested by the police, beaten with sticks and water-hoses and could have been executed,' he says. 'The KMT executed my younger brother in 1954 for printing a magazine they did not like. He was 26 and died with no descendants. People of my generation have no choice but to vote for Chen Shui-bian,' he said, referring to the Democratic People's Party presidential candidate. Until the lifting of martial law in July 1987, it was taboo to talk of the massacre. As mayor of Taipei from 1994 to 1998, Mr Chen set up the museum, a few hundred metres from the presidential palace in the city centre. It sets out in meticulous detail what happened, with photos of many of the victims and pens, hats, letters and other items that belonged to them. 'We have this museum and several thousand relatives of the victims have received compensation from a government fund for those who were killed,' Mr Siew says. 'This is positive. But the issue is not settled yet. 'The KMT must make public all their files from the period and admit that the chief criminal is Chiang Kai-shek. It was he who gave the order to send the 10,000 troops here who carried out most of the killings. The guilty must bear the responsibility. 'Taiwanese over 50 cannot forget these events. 'As a lawyer, Chen defended poor people wrongly accused by the police. He served eight months in prison. He is our candidate.' Another of Mr Chen's initiatives as mayor was to open to the public the huge garden of the Taipei house used by Chiang from 1950 until his death in 1975. It was both a civic act, to let the public enjoy a beautiful garden and a political statement, to show people the chasm between the luxury their former ruler enjoyed and their own small, overcrowded apartments. The three-storey blue wooden house where Chiang lived and worked remains off-limits, divided from the park by a green fence. 'This part will be open to the public in two years,' the guard said. 'It is only a matter of time.'