I still don’t get the continuing Taiwanese soap opera thing, except as a digressionary tactic. Do you? Who is responsible for determining where a government keeps money from the sale of its people’s loyalty to another country? How can the responsible party be other than the government that decided to sell to the highest bidder? If I am correct, then why all the noise about the previous Taiwanese ambassador?
If there was an official arrangement by which his government annually delivered to the government of Saint Lucia a certain sum to be used for stated specific purposes and nothing else, and if that promise was kept by all concerned, then what’s there to complain about? What law did the ambassador contravene?
And while it was possibly déclassé to hand over prize money to football players, what’s the real difference between that and say, Allen Stanford in his time, handing a check to Darren Sammy immediately following a cricket match? If Chou appeared at an obviously partisan function, quite possibly inadvertently, who should take blame: the ambassador or the government that invited him knowing full well the function’s purpose? It is worth remembering Saint Lucia’s diplomatic relationship with Taiwan did not start with the arrival of Tom Chou. Surely there must exist in the government’s records details of how diplomatic relations between the two countries were conducted prior to 2006? Was Taiwanese aid ever deposited in the Consolidated Fund, to be used at the government’s convenience? Can Stephenson King enlighten us? It shouldn’t be all that difficult for the current prime minister to uncover the truth. If it should turn out the Consolidated Fund was once good enough for our donors of Taiwanese millions, then why not in the time of Tom Chou?
Someone would certainly have a hard time responding to that! Why is the previous government not being held solely accountable if money that should’ve gone into the Consolidated Fund went instead into the city council’s accounts or some other government fund—or someone’s personal account? But then didn’t the current government, when in opposition, applaud Jeannine Compton for her personal accounting of Taiwanese funds received via the Micoud village council?
Is the on-going complaint that Ms Compton’s then government colleagues failed to take a hint and follow her example? Would this whole sorry story have been forgotten by now had Guy Joseph, Richard Frederick and the rest of King’s squad read out in parliament an unaudited recollection of how they spent money donated to the government by the people of Taiwan? Would that have rendered Tom Chou a more admirable personage in the bloodshot eyes of One-China zombies?
If we agree he was in no position to direct the government regarding the Consolidated Fund, or if their arrangement did not include the Consolidated Fund, how does that make him a lawbreaker? Are we saying Chou should have demanded the government deposit all Taiwanese aid in the Consolidated Fund and then hand the ambassador a receipt? And even if Chou had done so, receipt or no receipt, who would guarantee the money would be put to specified use in the stated time? Hey, this is Saint Lucia. Not Wonderland. We have the examples to prove how loyal to their promises our governments have been over the years.
Besides, Chou was primarily accountable to his government. His first loyalty was to Taiwan aid policy! Anyway, the former ministers insist that the money allocated to various so-called grassroots projects can be accounted for and has been accounted for. They have hundreds of videos and projects to point to, they say. But the prime minister disagrees. He recently threatened to make them account according to law?
Doubtless Astaphan knows precisely which laws were broken. So now should we expect the imminent return of Tom Chou under subpoena if not in handcuffs? Will Jeannine be required to furnish audited details of the great work undertaken in the name of the Micoud people, and for which Taiwan paid? And if all of that should amount to one fat zero, what then? Oh, I almost forgot. We can always call in the Israeli-trained Pitbulls at the Integrity Commission to waterboard the main suspects. Hey, now you talkin’!