Staunch support from business helps catapult KMT to victory

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–Strong support for President Ma Ying-jeou from the business sector has helped catapult the incumbent candidate from his lackluster performance in pre-vote opinion polls to a front-runner and finally winner of the 2012 presidential race. At this point, Tsai Ing-wen, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate, only has herself and her party to blame. Cher Wang (王雪紅), chairwoman of smartphone maker HTC Corp. (宏達電), summed it up admirably in the powerful message she delivered on Election Day eve. “I have come today to declare my stance on behalf of both myself and my father. I am doing so to contribute and fulfill my responsibility to society,” Wang, daughter of the late founder of Formosa Plastics Corporation (台塑) Wang Yung-ching (王永慶), said on Friday, Jan. 13. Born into a family which is no stranger to Taiwan’s business climate, Wang, who skyrocketed up be the country’s richest person list in 2011 on the back of her late father’s monumental successes as one of Taiwan’s leading businessmen, knows all too well what was one of the worst problems of a country once known internationally as the “Island of Greed.” Examples of greedy officials abounded. One does not have to look very far to find the most appalling examples. Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the former DPP president now serving a long sentence for graft, is believed to have stowed away mind-boggling sums of ill-gotten wealth both at home and abroad. “The Ma Ying-jeou administration has led Taiwan out of corruption and into peace and stability,” Wang said, expressing without reservation her appreciation of the Ma Administration’s efforts at stamping out official corruption, including his establishment of the Agency Against Corruption under the Ministry of Justice last year.

Many people, including supporters, may be critical of President Ma’s performance over the last four years given that he was prevented from achieving all his previous campaign promises. Taiwan was very much embroiled in the global financial crises — but no one can possibly deny that he is an honest leader with a clean slate.

The same, however, cannot be said of Tsai, although she hasn’t been convicted of anything in a court of law. The DPP chairwoman simply could not convincingly refute allegations that she, as vice premier in a previous administration, gave preferential treatment to her own family when she endorsed a government decision to award funding to Yu Chang Biologics Co. (宇昌生技股), in which her family held a 20-percent stake. To make the matter worse, Tsai went on to become the company’s chairwoman after her departure from government.