Corruption Taiwan Style: It Depends on Who You Know?

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Wednesday April 08, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Yu Wen, Ma Ying-jeou's secretary from the days when Ma was Mayor of Taipei has just gotten out of jail. Yu had embezzled nearly a half million dollars (US$) from the Taipei Mayor's fund and put it into Ma's account. Yu denied any charges of corruption, "I did not take one cent." OK, fine but that leads to the next questions. What about motivation? If you did not take a single cent, then why did you do it? And why are you the only one that went to jail for this? And further, do you always act alone and put money in other people's accounts? Some things defy logic or do they?

Yu was sentenced to 14 months but got out in 9 months. The Presidential Office said that it would be happy to assist Yu in finding a job. I do think that is the least they could do. President Ma's office was also sorry that Yu had not originally gotten a probationary sentence since it was his first offense and "just a receipt problem." Receipt problem, ah yes, but for whom? For Yu or the one that benefited from Yu's generosity?

Yes, you have to love this place; it certainly depends not so much on what you know as on whom you know and of course how much money you can get your hands on. So in closing, let me say this, that if there is anyone out there who would like to put a half million dollars (US$) or more into my bank account (no questions asked) you are welcome to do it. And if for some reason you would be put in jail for that, I will both come and visit you and even help you find a job afterwards.