• Directory of Taiwan

Prosecutor-General should be more than a saint:Apple Daily

Huang Shih Ming, nominated as the candidate for Prosecutor-General, is enthusiastic about softball.

Huang engages in softball

Huang Shih Ming, nominated as the candidate for Prosecutor-General, is enthusiastic about softball.

After the nomination of Huang Shih-ming as the new Prosecutor-General, popularity of the deputy justice minister surges as “accolades and legends” about him abound in the media.

That smacks of a common deification phenomenon in an era where media easily controls agenda-setting. Former president Chen Shui-abain and President Ma both used to be the political superstars who claimed high popularity among supporters. And Wang Chien-hsien, president of the Control Yuan, with his nickname “saint”, was expected to conduct practical reforms on political institutions and black-gold politics of Taiwan. Now, what have these superstars done for the country?

In fact, this kind of polished figures like Huang Shih-ming abound in Taiwan. The over-exaggerated compliments about him are just made to reflect their anger toward Chen Tsung-ming, former Prosecutor-General. This might remind people in Taiwan of the waning popularity of Chen Shui-bian and President Ma.

The thing is that popularity should not be the key to be a successful civil servant. Impartiality and self-discipline are both important features of a Prosecutor-General but do not prove a successful one. What the society and government should care about is his working history as a judicial officer, his position on political affiliation and views about human rights and press freedom.

The nomination of the Supreme Court Justice in US can illustrate their caution in the selection of judicial officers. In the Capital Hill hearing, every candidate would be grilled for their past verdicts and opinions especially concerning ideology.

In light of the importance of the Prosecutor-General, the eligibility of Huang should depend on a thorough examination of his past, including views about judicial reforms, and attitude for State Affairs Fund fees. Popularity is temporary but capability remains.