Taiwan's Poltical Soap Opera Update: The Diane Lee Effect and Justice Served?

  Previous  |  Next  

Sunday March 14, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan's political soap opera under Ma Ying-joke continues, and a new factor in the political scene is what can be called the "Diane Lee Effect." Suffering from it is Kaohsiung's People First Party (PFP) City Councilor Yang Se-yu. Diane Lee, for those who may not recognize the name, is the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator who for 14 years had illegally collected over US$3 million dollars in salary in violation of the Nationality Act. The KMT Lee had held dual passports for both Taiwan and the United States. The national loyalty of any government official with dual passports is immediately suspect; with that is the possibility that they can easily do things harmful to the national interests of the country. In this, they possess the relative immunity of having the means for an immediate escape if the harm of their actions is revealed.

PFP Yang Se-yu almost equaled KMT Diane Lee in illegal salary and special fees; she earned (US$2.7 million) as a councilor with the alleged dual citizenship with the country of Canada. After Lee was convicted, Yang quickly traveled overseas allegedly for health reasons and to take classes--a strange combination. In her haste to get overseas, Yang of course failed to resign her position, another questionable act. Now she has asked family members to help her in that effort. With good healthcare and educational services available in Taiwan, one naturally wonders how a councilor with 15 years experience would leave so quickly and for such an indefinite time that she would forget to resign. We can only wonder who will be next to either try to erase his/her dual citizenship and/or escape.

One who did not escape, as least permanently, is the KMT former Changhua County council speaker Pai Hung-shen convicted of corruption. Much to the embarrassment of the KMT Minister of Justice (MOJ) Wang Ching-feng (who also recently resigned but for different reasons) and the local police, the KMT Pai, once convicted last June was allowed to enter the hospital for heart surgery. It boggles the mind how a person recovering from heart surgery could easily elude his police guard. One pictures him conveniently sprinting away while the police or whomever the KMT MOJ had watching him were left in the dust. Fortunately or ironically, the police in China are a little better at their jobs and they caught Pai going for a massage. Ah, the thrill of the chase. Pai has been returned; will the KMT watched jail be able to hold one of their own, convicted of corruption? Stay tuned.