On Saturday last week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) criticized Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), saying that Lin, once a role model for youth, is now “throwing himself into the lap of somebody.” Ko then referred to the “Han vilification industry,” a term Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) coined to suggest there was a DPP-run cyberarmy criticizing Han online. Does Ko not reflect on his own actions?
Reports indicate that Ko keeps his own cyberarmy, and that people at the city government direct opinion on Facebook and in channels on the nation’s most popular online bulletin board, Professional Technology Temple (PTT).
When faced with questions about his own efforts, Ko typically responds with jokes or nonsensical answers, such as “‘netizens’ are different from ‘cyberarmy,’” “these PTT users are volunteer online soldiers” and “we have researched the online world — no one can direct opinion, nobody is that smart.”
When Ko said Lin was “throwing himself into the lap of the DPP,” he seems to have implied that joining the DPP gave a negative impression of Lin and shattered his former image as a “role model for young people.”
What is wrong with joining the DPP? Does Ko think the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), whose name was lifted from another party, is the only way for Lin to remain a role model?
It is clear that the TPP is Ko’s one-man party. What he says and does represent the TPP’s standards, and the way he behaves is off-putting.
Recently, Ko was criticized for calling Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) “a fatter version of Han.” Not only did he refuse to apologize, he even defended the comment, saying that “fat” and “thin” are only adjectives.
Whether “fat” and “thin” are adjectives or not is beside the point. Ko’s comment violates the Sexual Harassment Prevention Act (性騷擾防治法). Breaching the law publicly and then trying to wiggle out of it — is that the standard Ko’s TPP aspires to?
Another issue is the scrapped extradition bill in Hong Kong. Not only is Ko unwilling to publicly support the protest movement there, he has said that “when the enemy has made a mistake, there is no need to continue kicking them.” He even made an absurd remark, saying that “it all happened because too many Hong Kongers travel to Taiwan and have become contaminated by Taiwanese.”
Ko keeps finding excuses for the Hong Kong government. After the police fired at protesters at close range, he said: “If these clashes continue, it will be hard to avoid an accidental shooting.”
He also said that “self-immolation is trending among Tibetan lamas, and it has caused the Chinese government a great deal of trouble.”
The TPP seems to stand together with a totalitarian government, mocking and ridiculing Hong Kongers and Tibetans pursuing freedom and democracy. However, this is not surprising. Ko’s proposal for cross-strait relations is that “the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family,” and that embracing China is the most rational position.
Today, as China continues its verbal attacks and military intimidation against Taiwan, the DPP is clearly the only political party capable of safeguarding the nation.
Lin, one of the leaders of the Sunflower movement, has long held a consistent stance on defending Taiwan’s democracy and sovereignty, respecting diversity, and embracing liberty. What is wrong with him joining the DPP?