Taiwan as the World Turns: Ma Gives Hau a Left-Handed Compliment

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Wednesday November 03, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Ma Ying-jeou gave Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin a left-handed compliment as Hau was running for re-election amidst the growing scandals of corruption and cost-overruns at the Taipei International Flora Expo and the Xinsheng Overpass project. Not seeming to be conscious of the numerous boondoggles and failed projects of his administration, Ma said that "Hau was as good a mayor as he (Ma) was."

Those who have lived in Taipei for several years and are conscious of the failed Nanking West Circle renovation, the still unsolved Maokong Gondola failure, the constant MRT Brown Line problems, and other wasteful spendings were left wondering what point was Ma trying to make. Was he trying to say that the fact that there were no dead bodies left on City Hall balconies for over six months under Hau, was somehow progress compared to the Ma administration?

With little to show for his two and a half years as president, what kind of a smoke screen is Ma trying to spread to cover the failings of Hau? 6-3-3 remains the pipe dream promise that it was; the claim to reduce tensions in the Taiwan Strait is a joke with the recent and continued slaps in the face that China gives Taiwan. People had always wondered what universe Ma lived in; now is he trying to bring Hau into that alternate universe as well?