News too Good to be True: A Thought on Taiwan’s SIP Investigations

After the indictment and intermittend detention of recent Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian, the Special Investigation Panel of the Supreme Prosecutor’s office said yesterday it would investigate former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) on suspicion of money laundering.  — Story here.

At first glance, I would congratulate Taiwan for its efficient judiciary. They seem to achieve something that France (Jacques Chirac corruption suspicions) and Germany (Helmut Kohl’s secret slush funds) seem to be unable to achieve: thorough investigations and indictment.

But without wanting to downplay Taiwan’s judiciary, or glorifying France’s or Germany’s: things in Taiwan are happening too fast and too resolutely for me to trust its system more than ours. Both Chen and Lee are old political adversaries to president Ma Ying-jeou, and in the past, the KMT was no vanguard of clean government.

Such a sudden change of heart there? That would be hard to believe.

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