The Ministry of National Defense and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) are probably wondering why the death of late army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) has become perhaps the single most important news event in Taiwan in the past month, ruffling feathers in every part of society and showing no signs of stopping.
One reason it raised a high degree of public attention was because people imagined themselves in one of the roles in Hung’s family — the son who died from institutional injustice, the heartbroken mother whose grief over the loss of a son was almost too much to bear, or the sister who was determined to find the truth behind her brother’s death and hold people accountable.
It is also because the case is the epitome of the current status of Taiwan. The nation has been hit with a credibility crisis, led by an irresponsible government that has a habit of lying to its people and burying its head in the sand and which embarrassed itself with a lack of understanding of human rights. Reckless journalism also harms Taiwan’s credibility.