KMT revocation can be the big break Wang's been waiting for
By Alan Fong, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Before Tuesday, Wang Jin-pyng was known as the long-serving Legislative Yuan speaker, a consensus builder well-liked by lawmakers across the aisle and an enigma to most outside the political world. Before Tuesday, the public did not really care about what Wang had to say. As a Kuomintang (KMT) legislator-at-large, Wang did not actually have a constituency and the campaign trail was not his place.
September 12, 2013, 12:12 am TWN
On Tuesday, however, the entire nation listened to Wang as he delivered a fiery stump speech. Speaking after his arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Wang did not look like a desperate man. Energized, well-prepared and flanked by supporters including more than a dozen lawmakers, he did not whine, beg or quarrel. Instead, he gave an electrifying address, the content of which was published on newspaper front pages almost in full.
The media mostly misread Wang's statement as deferential to President Ma Ying-jeou as well as a non-confrontational appeal to the KMT's disciplinary committee. What they did not point out was his strategically planned appeal to KMT supporters and his veiled attack of Ma.
There was no reason for Wang to expect punishment less than membership revocation from the KMT. Ma, who is also the party's chairman, went all out in denouncing Wang's alleged involvement in illegal lobbying as “the most shameful” chapter in Taiwan's democracy at a press conference on Sunday.
Indeed, Ma spelled out his decree even clearer yesterday morning one hour before the disciplinary committee convened, urging the panel not to “fail the people” by letting Wang off the hook. For the KMT, to spare Wang would be in direct opposition to the president and the party leader. Already seeing his revocation or expulsion from the KMT as a foregone conclusion, Wang used the speech not to persuade the discipline committee but to lay the groundwork for his comeback.
He began with stern challenges: “Does the government know the people's pain? Does the government feel the people's distrust of the judicial system? Does the government understand the people's expectations for judicial reform?” These are not the words of a man who has been a key figure in the government for over a decade but those of an outsider rallying public support.
Statement Directed at Ma