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Open letter by Judy Linton

To supporters of KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou:

"Over and over again, we see that the KMT's loyalty lies with oppressive China, and not with Taiwan."

Taipei, March 15th 2008

Picture: Judy Linton (C) with husband Joel and three daughters

28 years ago, when Taiwan was still under martial law, my father Lin I-hsiung was arrested for alleged involvement in the Kaohsiung Incident. With my father's arrest, my house was placed under 24 hours police surveillance. It was under such police watch, on the significant date of February 28, that the Chinese Nationalist Party Kuomintang (KMT) sent an assassin to my home. In an attempt to annihilate my father's family, my paternal grandmother and my two sisters who were twins were cruelly murdered. I was sent to the hospital with six stab wounds. And by the grace of God, I survived.

Though it has already been 28 years, I still deeply miss my grandmother and sisters.

Everywhere I look, countless Taiwanese are trying to associate themselves with the KMT. It is baffling to me why so many still support the KMT though they are responsible for so many lost lives and tragedies in Taiwan.

The main question is this:

Is the KMT of today any different from the KMT of 28 years ago who murdered my family members?

1. I was the sole surviving eyewitness of the murders that took place in my home. I alone saw the assassin. Yet in an effort to divert attention away from the KMT, the KMT controlled media of that time began to circulate a description of a 'man with a bushy beard.' Though I never once mentioned the assassin as having any beard, every media reporting repeated over and over again this image of a heavily bearded man. Eventually, a bearded foreigner was exiled from Taiwan. The assassin in my home did not have a beard and was not a foreigner.

Fast forward to the year 2003. Just four years ago, 24 years since the murders of my family members, I accepted an interview with TVBS Magazine. I appeared on the cover of the magazine and was their main story for that issue. In large captions, the headline of the article stated: Judy Lin says, " I have forgiven the bearded murderer." Though I never once used the word 'bearded', 24 years later, some one from the KMT still wants to make sure that the murderer is not associated with the KMT.

Several months after that interview, the reporter who penned the article saw me on the street and came running up to me. She wished to ask for my forgiveness. She said it was the decision of her superiors to put words in my mouth, but she still felt responsible. All I could do was smile, expressed my forgiveness, and pray to God for ultimate justice.

2. In the last 28 years, the KMT could no longer resort to such scare tactics as reigned during the era of White Terror. They have had to resort to other means. Instead of oppressing human rights, the KMT has used their unlimited wealth to buy media and advertisements to persuade the common Taiwanese to give up their rights.

Just a few months ago, the KMT used media and countless ads to confuse and encourage the people of Taiwan to NOT vote in the referendum. Amazingly, they told the people that referendums were a ploy of the DPP to create chaos in the election process. The pan-KMT media told the people that the referendums have nothing to do with our daily lives and we should regard them as useless trash. And many people believed the KMT propaganda and gave up their right to referendum.

If the KMT loved the Taiwanese people, they would encourage the people to hold on to their democratic rights of referendum, and not urge them to give them up.

3. In the last 28 years, Taiwan has had no voice on the international stage. Instead of striving to preserve the Taiwanese identity and striving to win Taiwan's seat in the UN, the KMT has continued to tell the Taiwanese that joining the UN is a worthless aspiration. Even in light of the Tibetan crisis, the KMT still refuses to protect Taiwan, yet continually invites closer relations with China. Although China continually lays claim to Taiwan and continues to threaten violence on Taiwan, the KMT still leads Taiwan closer to the menace of China.

If the KMT loved Taiwan, they would protect Taiwan from the sure and constant oppression of China.

I do not personally hold any hatred towards the KMT. And if the KMT had indeed changed to be loyal towards the people of Taiwan, then there are many of us who would be willing to let bygones be bygones. However, we have seen over and over that the KMT has not changed in the last 28 years. They continue to lie to the people of Taiwan to give up their human rights, to give up their international status. Over and over again, we see that the KMT's loyalty lies with oppressive China, and not with Taiwan.

When I think of how wealthy and powerful the KMT still is, I think of Captain Von Trapp whose real life story the movie "The Sound of Music" is based on. Being a navy officer, Captain Von Trapp had status and wealth. Yet instead of changing allegiance to the Nazis, he forfeited all his wealth and status and fled penniless to America, all because he would not associate himself with the evil Nazis. Captain Von Trapp is a real hero in my eyes.

Wishing for more heroes in Taiwan,

Judy Lin Linton
(Lin Huan-chun)