Some Hard Questions About Jason Hu and the KMT Past: Taiwan Wake Up I

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Monday November 22, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taichung is the third largest city in Taiwan. Why then does its Mayor Jason Hu rank 18th in performance in a list of the nations top 21 mayors and commissioners? The answer is not only simple and obvious, it is sad as well. Like many in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Hu earned his reputation when the KMT had a one-party state and they could not only bury the corpses and control the media but they could also squelch any dissenting voices or questions. Does anyone remember Vincent Siew? He's still the current Vice President, and he was allegedly the brilliant economist of the KMT one-party state. Has he solved the problems and mystery of 6-3-3 promises? Unfortunately in a democracy it's a whole new ball game and what is hidden is revealed. So too with Jason Hu.

After nine years as Mayor of Taichung, #18 Hu is no closer to ridding the city of corruption than when he started. Just recently a gangland assassination revealed that his police officers regularly play mahjong with said gangsters. Ironically Jason Hu then published statistics that crime had dropped in Taichung. Dropped? Is that because gangsters are eliminating each other? Or, as most suspect, did the police create the drop by simply not reporting crimes? That is unfortunately the easiest way for corrupt police to reduce the crime rate; just keep it from being reported.

Hu always knows the flowery words to say, and he certainly can turn a phrase. But now when he should be giving up after eight years as Mayor, a quirk in the change of laws allows him to have another four. Some say he will now be able to wink and/or bring police corruption into Taichung County as well. Is this what the people of Taichung want? It is not that Jason Hu is a crook, but simply as an aging man who has had a stroke, the reality is that he is not up to the task of rooting out such inbred corruption. He owes too many favors from the past; further the one-party state days are gone when cover-ups were easier are gone forever. Fresh blood is needed in Taichung.

Hu is up to making videos like "Hu's Girls" of which a humorous parody was made by Kuso Cat for YouTube. But harkening back to the one-party state days, Hu's people want to sue those who made the parody. If you can't arrest them, then sue them. Political satire and parody were never too big in the one-party state days.

Others will counter that Jason Hu has brought other things to Taichung besides pole-dancing and that no doubt is true. He was extra kind to Chen Yun-lin of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and he can bring in some contracts that will benefit the wealthy. But the hard questions remain. Will it just be a case where the rich get richer, and the poor farmers and rural people of the county get poorer?

Taiwan voters face a lot of challenges this coming weekend. They have had nine years of Jason Hu; is corruption any less there? They have also already had two years of the promises and lack of delivery of the Ma administration. As Ma runs out of new promises to distract the populace, the hard questions remain. Do the people want to let the carpetbaggers continue the freedoms of the one-party state? Do the people want a County Mayor who ranks 18th in performance? Or is it time to ask for accountability. Saturday will tell the tale for the next four years.