The KMT, Taichung, Crime and Corruption: Do They Still Go Hand in Hand?

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Wednesday June 02, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

It read like something out of the "Godfather" movie series. There they were in the middle of the afternoon of a working day, four of Taichung's finest police officers (with alleged gangland ties) having tea at the offices of another well-known boss of questionable repute, Weng Chih-nan. All of a sudden a gunman burst in and fired off sixteen shots. Seven of the shots hit Weng and others hit a friend. How long does it take to fire off sixteen shots?

Did Taichung's police officers see or do anything? Did they fire back at the gunman while he pumped out sixteen shots? No, they were too busy diving for cover, and it appears one of them was wounded. Fortunately a surveillance camera captured the scene.

This does not look good for Jason Hu who has been Mayor of Taichung for eight years. So, with elections coming up, what is the punishment of these officers with "gangland ties?" One was removed from his administrative position and another received a demerit. Tough punishment? If Taiwanese have any memory, they will remember that the officer in charge of the police who abused the rights of the people and the Sunrise Record Shop during the visit of C-class Chinese official Chen Yun-lin also got a demerit. But test your memories once more, in the next week the same officer that got the demerit was then given a promotion. Is this the KMT balance of justice?

Taichung has a reputation as a gangland city. As Mayor, Jason Hu gives the appearance of being a nice guy. He may not have done anything great in his eight years, and crime may have grown, but he also has not had any great errors or goof-ups. This is unlike the case of the Mayors of Taipei the city to the north. So what to say? The word on the street in Taichung, is that the police have also been doctoring up the crime reports; i.e. they only report crimes that have been solved; unsolved crimes are left off the docket, too many of them like this shooting would look bad.

For citizens down there, not to worry; now that Jason Hu has "cleaned up" Taichung City after eight years, he will be running for Mayor of Taichung County, where I am sure that he will again promise to clean things up. It looks like interesting times in Taichung.