Saturday, January 31, 2009

People know their rights
NOT obligations

I write frequently about Ma Yean-Jeou's American permanent resident status and Diane Lee's American citizenship. Here is a summary of the salient points:
  • All legal documents show that Ma is still an American resident and Lee an American citizen. Taiwan judicial system wants the citizens to forget about such things; it goes all out to protect Ma and Lee. It took judicial system 300 days to start a very gentle action against Diane Lee. Her case is expected to drag on for years while judicial system's persecution of Chen Shui-Bian proceeds with lightening speed.
  • Ma and Lee claimed repeatedly that they have lost their American permanent resident status and citizenship. Since this matter is subject to American law, I wonder why Ma or Lee has authority to make any credible assertions.
  • Many also take the opportunity to give citizens a lesson about obligation: citizens and permanent residents not only have rights, they also have obligations. It is easy to imagine giving up rights, but obviously it should not be easy to give up obligations. Otherwise, anyone owing a lot of tax can just give up citizenship to avoid paying tax, or to avoid serving in the military.
This last point is what I want to talk about here. Taiwanese behave like they have no obligations to their country. They only care about their rights to NT$3,600 shopping vouchers and to 18% interest rate on their retirement accounts. They also have the rights to vote for KMT legislators and Ma for president, but they have no obligation for the mess they created. Do they have obligations at all? Isn't protecting their own country citizens' most basic obligation? Or, do they think protecting them is Americans' or Japanese obligation? If they have obligation to protect Taiwan, then
  • why are they silent when China aims thousands of missiles at their parents and children?
  • why are they silent when China humiliate them given any opportunity, isolate them internationally, and lies about Taiwan being part of China, day-in-and-day-out?
  • why are they silent when Ma signed secret, unfair treaties with China?
  • why are they silent when they are about to lose their country?
If these obligations do not belong to Taiwanese, then to whom do they belong?

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