The Ma Government Continues to Try to Return Taiwan to the One-party State Days of the KMT

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Wednesday April 13, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

In big and small ways, the government of Ma Ying-jeou is trying to squelch any and all opposite and critical thought. It seems they wish to return to their old one-party state days where they tried to control the thinking of the people. The latest development is in the simple matter of the tour guides at the Presidential Palace.

At set times during the week, Taiwan's Presidential Palace is open to the public for free tours. The people conducting these tours are volunteers; they give of their time because they want to be involved in some ways in serving the country. However, many of them after years of service are all of a sudden finding that they are being canned. Canned? Yes, that's right, they are canned not because they are putting their hand in the till or stealing; they are being canned because that even in tours of the Presidential Palace they are not giving the public the official Ma-speak.

How does Ma-speak come in with tours of a historical building going back to the Japanese era?

Ma Ying-jeou has forbidden them to speak on certain topics.

1) They are not to mention anything about the fifty years that Taiwan was Japan's model colony. This one is hard since the building that they are giving tours in was built during the Japanese era and it is pretty hard to talk about the building without mentioning that.

2) They are not to mention anything about 2-28, er-er-ba. This was the slaughter of Taiwanese by the KMT. A strange request since it is an acknowledged part of Taiwan history, and the tours give all the periods that the building went through. Not saying one should dwell on it, but it is basically a white wash of Taiwan's past history and the White Terror that Ma's party imposed for over 40 years.

3) They are not to say anything about the nationality of Ma the President. How can one talk about the current president without mentioning that he was born in Hong Kong and is a waishengren. Again a cleansing of Ma's past.

4) They are to gloss over and not mention the previous president of 8 years, Chen Shui-bian. Nice to have a history that is full of holes.

5) Finally they are not to say anything that might seem as disparaging to China. Yes, that's right we are not talking about criticizing Taiwan, but about criticizing China. Whose government building is this anyway?? Taiwan's or China's?

Those are the orders for Ma-speak and sanitized history; Ma has had different people attend the tours as spies to see if these rules are violated. As a result many of the volunteers of many years are being canned because they don't tell history the way that Ma wants it to be. Pretty soon they will not only can such people but perhaps they will be sending them to Green Island as the KMT did in the White Terror period.