DPP's way out of influence-peddling controversy
By Katherine Wei, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- After the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was dragged into the spotlight after seemingly legitimate evidence of influence-peddling involving DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) was revealed, the party somehow miraculously backpedaled out of the controversy.
September 19, 2013, 12:25 am TWN
Ker quickly shook off the brunt of the accusations as President Ma Ying-jeou took action, demanding the “influence-peddler” — Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jyn-ping (王金平) — show himself and explain his role in the scandal that has threatened the Kuomintang's (KMT) image. Ma, convinced that Wang had in fact tried to get Ker off the hook, then sailed into a series of ferocious yet poorly planned efforts to remove Wang from his position; pressuring the KMT's Central Discipline Committee to strip Wang's party membership and later filing a counter-appeal after Wang managed to retain his position temporarily.
Ma has only succeeded in ridding the DPP of its responsibility to probe Ker on his involvement and also allowed the green camp to criticize his brutal manner in removing Wang, known for his friendship with the DPP, from his position.
Spared from Wang's struggles with the nation's “Big Brother,” Ker did not take the easy way out by keeping a low profile. He voluntarily submitted an application for a probe to be conducted by the Legislature's Discipline Committee concerning his association with the lobbying incident — an act that seemed honest and courageous enough — and immediately lobbed the responsibility to the Discipline Committee. The committee consisted of KMT members only, a condition that would result in biased probe results, Ker insisted.
Ker's nit-picking and sudden wish to be probed has diverted the scrutiny placed upon him by DPP and KMT members alike. The DPP may be able to patch up its image and possibly demand the KMT to follow Ker's example, sending those involved in the wiretapping of telephone conversations between Ker and Wang to be combed for a thread of guilt; be it Ma, Prosecutor general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) or Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).
Now we will wait and see if the KMT falls into Ker's trap.