After the legislative and presidential elections, several KMT heavyweights, including the President and Veep-elects, pointed to Singapore as a model for one-party rule.

As many of you are aware, Singapore has a reputation for using lawsuits by the ruling party’s politicians to suppress dissent. Is Taiwan moving in that direction? The Deputy Mayor of Taipei, a KMT politician, is suing Next magazine over allegations of corruption that forced him to step down this week…..

Taipei City Deputy Mayor Wu Hsiu-kuang yesterday sued a magazine for libel over a report alleging that he had taken bribes from a local arms dealing firm.

Wu described as “totally unfounded” the Next report that accused him of taking bribes from the “Lai Fu” company, which the magazine said is the biggest arms dealing firm in Taiwan.

But he admitted that during August 2004 and July 2006, when he was not working in the government, he received funding for research work commissioned by Lai Fu.

Wu filed a libel lawsuit with the Taipei District Prosecutors Office against Next, as well as five political figures from the Democratic Progressive Party who had joined the magazine in accusing him of corruption.

And speaking of lawsuits, a couple of KMT lawmakers threatened to sue a consumer advocacy group for publishing statistics on their alleged inefficiency — coming late to meetings. Ma Ying-jeou has a couple of lawsuits going right now, one against the prosecutor in his case.

Is it a trend? Probably not. These types of threatened and actual lawsuits are pretty normal for politicians on the Beautiful Island. It would have to a be a far more sustained campaign.

Also on tap is a subject near and dear to everyone’s heart: the special funds abuses. There have been calls for amnesty for all the abusers, and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng of the KMT said the other day he’d like to clean up the mess. But Ma remains “cautious” (since when is Ma not cautious?):

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will be cautious in exercising his right to grant a general amnesty to any government officials convicted of misusing their special allowance funds after the Supreme Court on Thursday found him not guilty of embezzling from his mayoral special allowance, spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said yesterday.

Of course, they have to be careful not to pardon Chen Shui-bian!