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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I wish Larry King would interview Ma Ying-jeou

Yes, I wish that CNN would invite Taiwan’s president -- or should I call him "leader" or "Mr."? -- Ma Ying-jeou to appear on its longest-running interview program since it began in June 1985. It was entertaining to see the CNN’s news report at its website hesitating on what title to give Ma, switching between the words "president" and "leader". Do you think CNN’s editor should know what title is the appropriate one to give Ma when Ma doesn’t seem to be sure himself? The other day, it was not enough to see president Ma showing off his English fluency when he was answering CNN reporter’s question, so why not give him another chance to perform more, this time facing CNN viewers in the world on Larry King Live? Ma had appeared before on BBC’s Hardtalk, but Ma hasn’t had a chance to be grilled by Larry.

Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou said Sunday he accepts responsibility for the government's slow response after the storm.

"Certainly, I will take full responsibility whatever the blame is because, after all, I am the president of this country," Ma told CNN.

Bravo! It sounds like Ma is a responsible president at least from the first impression, but if you read more you will see the title Taiwan's leader takes blame for typhoon response is perhaps kind of controversial and not so representative of Ma’s true statement, later the title has been changed to Hundreds stranded In typhoon-hit Taiwan by CNN with some updates,

Why is this original title not so good? Because if you gather information from all sources, you will discover that Ma’s so-called taking full blame excludes himself!

Will Ma take full blame for the slow response in rescue mission after the typhoon Morakot hit? Of course not, Ma tries to blame it on the poor weather conditions, and he also promises to investigate on who is responsible except himself.

Ma never took blame in his life before and was not prepared to do so this time around.

Instead, Ma is ready to prosecute his subordinate and leaving himself blameless, just like he has always played innocent. Some people under him will likely lose their jobs, I predict, or at least will swallow some demerit points.

Remember in 2007 who did Ma blame for his corruption charge? Anybody under him but himself! Ma's former secretary Yu Wen (余文), a co-defendant in Ma’s corruption trial, was sentenced to one year in jail for using fraudulent receipts to claim reimbursements for Ma's special allowance fund on behalf of Ma. Read the story from the Taipei Times,

However, Ma himself walked away with a not guilty charge leaving his former secretary to serve the jail term for him!

CNN reported:

Ma who has faced heavy criticism from victims of the disaster, ruled out resignation, insisting his government did its best in the face of difficulties, however he pledged an investigation into any irregularities.

Ruled out resignation? But the CNN opinion poll has this statistics below per Should Taiwan's leader stand down over delays in aiding typhoon victims? from e-Taiwan news :

Yes 82% 12306

No 18% 2660

update: 2009.08.17 16:45

That’s why we need Larry King to question Ma on this unofficial opinion poll, besides, we want Larry to ask Ma why he went to a wedding party the night the Morakot hit Taiwan instead of staying with his ministers at the emergency command center, plus to question Ma on his mysterious US citizenship / permanent residence status, and what Ma believes his appropriate title to be outside of Taiwan.

A few days back, my suspicion of Ma's slowness in rescue mission besides his lack of empathy towards his people was revealed on the 4th comment left at this post,, and just in case you haven’t read it yet, here it is:

After reading Mike in Taipei's comment, I sense that Ma refuses foreign aid because of a deeper political implication.

Without “central” government’s permission, any US / Japan helicopters will be treated as foreign invasion forces instead of humanitarian assistance forces and can be shot-down.

Since Beijing claims Taiwan to be its “yet-to-be-unified” territory, Ma’s acceptance for help from these 2 countries without Beijing’s approval may jeopardize further warming relations between the two sides of the strait (actually it’s between the KMT and the CCP parties).

Remember 10 years ago, during the 921 earth quake relief effort in 1999, China's Red Cross chapter asked other international chapters to "consult" with it before they decided to offer help to quake-stricken Taiwan thereby causing delay? And a Russian earthquake relief mission en route to Taiwan was forced to make a lengthy detour over Siberia because China refused to allow the Russian plane carrying the team to pass through its airspace? And The UN's Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva reportedly decided to send a six-member team to help with relief efforts only after close consultation with China. To make matters worse, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent his sympathies to the people of the "Taiwan province of China." (ref:Taipei Times Sep. 25, 1999

In the meantime, Ma sits tight refusing foreign physical help so as not to anger his hidden boss (It is clear now who is Ma serving, definitely not his people!) while waiting for the mud-buried villagers to race against time, fate, and the available domestic resources that Ma wants to deploy.

Paying taxes to the “central” government while watching relatives and friends perish without timely assistance; I think the people in the southern part realize now how much people’s lives worth in the eyes of the Ma administration. Clearly, Ma's greater China policy weighs more than their lives.

Except 10 years ago, using disaster crisis for political gain was played by the authority in Beijing, now it is being handled directly by Ma.

End of comment

My question now to the governing party in Taiwan is:

Will the KMT return its illegally-obtained assets to the rightful owners, the people of Taiwan especially now that the country is in need? Wouldn’t it be a golden opportunity for the people to demand this payment? And for the governing party to show that it is no longer the same old Chinese Nationalist Party but a localized party in Taiwan that needs to identify with the land and people and “donate” (return!) the national assets to the people.


CNN reporter questioning Ma, and Ma kept blaming the local residents saying “They”, the residents are basically at fault, while not remembering that first the central government did not ask them to evacuate, and second that the KMT-dominated Legislative Yuan had frozen the budget for many projects including the water and flood management project during the DPP’s era

in Chinese, Taiwan’s premier went to stay overnight at a comfortable military hotel in Kao-hsiung away from the disaster areas after checking the damage during the day music with images of the damage from the Morakot typhoon plus the rescue mission afterwards

in Chinese, commentary on why Ma initially authorized the deployment of only 6,000 troops for the rescue mission vs. more than 7,000 (some sources say 10,000) police force to protect China’s Chen Yun-Lin on his visit to Taiwan in November, 2008

a good summary report by CNN, recording the rainfall brought by the Morakot typhoon, approximately 2.5 meters of rain within 2 to 3 days, compared to this amount in a year in other places of Asia


Taiwan Echo said...

Not Larry King, man. Larry is too soft. Many times I feel that he rushes to the next question without digging the real answer.

Anyone among Lou Dobbs, Jack Cafferty or Wolf Blitzer would chase him down better than Larry does.

Claudia Jean said...

I wish Ma could be interviewed by Stephen Sackur on Hardtalk again.

Άλισον said...

Have some mercy on Ma whose Gov Info Office MISTAKENLY gave a memo to Taiwan’s Foreign Correspondence Club requesting all questions to Ma on a scheduled government press conference be pre-written.

BTW, another poll has closed:

International Community Radio Taipei's poll:

Yes, Ma should step down: 96% (14998 votes)
No: 3% (513 votes)

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