Gang Members Sends DPP into Governance Crisis
By Cheng Song-shan
The Storm Media, May 8, 2021
It started with a few emboldened men wearing black who during daytime broke into the Zhonglun branch police station of the Songshan Precinct in Taipei and maliciously smashed computer monitor yet without legal investigation of this “Songshan Riot.” The ambiguous relationship between the police and criminal gang members, utter lack of police discipline, and public disorder showcases persistent in-fighting among high-ranking police as well as officials within the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). This news was followed by the involvement of Chao Chieh-yu, son of Chao Ying-kuang, former convener of the review committee of the DPP’s Taipei branch, in a drug-dealing scandal. These events exposed the DPP’s vicious factional infighting and have devastated the otherwise positive social image of the DPP.
Although the ruling DPP superficially dealt with this case to stop the political bleeding, Huang Cheng-kuo, a national policy advisor to President Tsai Ing-wen and member of the DPP’s Central Standing Committee, was also affected by the scandal of the younger Chao. With Huang’s gang background and long control of the DPP’s Taipei branch lifted, an uproar in the city thus ensued, forcing President Tsai, who concurrently serves as the DPP’s chairwoman, to apologize publicly and request the party branch to implement its gang exclusion policy for all future prospective members, candidates, and campaign staff of the party.
DPP Beset with “Governance Assisted by Gangs” Crisis
Obviously, this political turmoil of the DPP’s blackening with gang storm not only involved the party’s factional infighting, high ranking police officers’ scrambling for positions and resentment over power struggling and favoritism-playing of local party officers, but also seriously damaged the image of the DPP administration. The police discipline and its ambiguous relation with gang, plus the intervening of the DPP’s factional culture of “each serves its respective master”, “each speaks for its own master” to make fussy waves, naturally it was inevitably used to hype the issue. Seemingly, the DPP administration also gradually tinted with the political atmosphere of “rule by the underworld” or “governance assisted by gang members.” If the DPP did not take speedy action to stop the bleeding, this might jeopardize the DPP’s opportunity to stay in power.
Actually, for a long time, the issue of blackening of the DPP was not so serious, party mainstream elites had controlled its abuse through various political mechanism one after another and “black out clause” for perspective members. Basically, they were able to control the issue before it became out of control. However, the recent emergence of Huang, who took advantage of his political alliance with leaders of Sanlih E-Television and the “introduction” by close staff of President Tsai, rendering him increasing power of influence and became the member of the DPP’s Central Standing Committee and national policy advisor to President Tsai responsible for political mobilization of major temple system and backup campaigning for elections.
Hidden Worry: Ambiguous Relations with Police, Gangs
However, the real problem with Huang was not his gang background but his acting style just like “Mr. Black and White” who dealt with or meddled in matters in such a dominant way making people fearful of his bully thus linking him with gangs. With the recent party chief elections for the Taipei branch, people felt politically coerced, even feared for themselves and their families. People tried to avoid him for fear while angry yet not dare to speak. After Enoch Wu was elected as party chief for Taipei city party branch, he was nothing but a political puppet. All his staff and major party officers were controlled by Huang, thus blackening the DPP. Even police authorities in Taipei had to seek Huang’s favor and did not dare to offend him and his followers.
Therefore, the intertwined politically ambiguous relationship among the DPP, police, and criminal gangs gradually became a hidden political worry for the governing team of President Tsai and the DPP’s factions.
While Huang himself was involved in the critical core of the political storm, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung and Premier Su Tseng-chang often time made controversial arrangements of promotion and transfer for police officers, exacerbated by stealthy intervention of DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao in placing high-ranking police officers led to the ever increasing of police turmoil and rampant gang presence, creating a “intra strife” within President Tsai’s governing team and rendering public disorder crisis out of control. The social perception of this was “ugly enough indeed”.
To sum up, the governing crisis caused by the DPP’s blackening has indeed hurt and endangered the ruling party. If the DPP desired to thoroughly stop the political bleeding, it would not just to implement to the letter the “black out clause” for party members but how to wipe out those dominating “Mr. Black and White” to continue erode the party power and party position rampantly, even to take this opportunity to weed out the dark power of those high-ranking police officers who bet on their respective factional patrons and give back a fair, objective and professional environment of promotion and transfer. Only so the political ill wind of “infernal affairs” of politicians, the problem of police relationship with gangs could be genuinely eradicated and a social order image and public credibility be rebuilt. Otherwise, the vicious cycle of “chicken before egg or egg before chicken” issue was the major crisis and calamity of the DPP would determine if it would follow the opposition Kuomintang into the trap of rule by gangs and black money and eventually lose its power.