Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Peter Lin (
"This is my personal apology to Mayor Hu and has nothing to do with the DPP," Lin said. "I wanted to tell him in person that I am sorry."
Lin's apology was accepted by Hu during a press conference in Taichung City yesterday afternoon after Hu gave a speech at the Taichung Convention Center.
Lin had gone to the center in the hopes of meeting Hu.
When the lawmaker saw Hu, he approached, grabbed Hu's hands, bowed and was planning to kneel down as well. Hu immediately held him up.
Lin then apologized to Hu in front of a group of reporters.
A week ago Tuesday, Lin, a practicing physician, and 11 other doctors, held a joint news conference and released what they claimed were Hu's medical records, in an attempt to thwart Hu's re-election bid by questioning whether he was healthy enough to serve another term.
Lin said he decided to apologize to Hu because of public pressure.
"People believe that I am a bad doctor, a bad person because I did this. But, to me, it has nothing to do with my profession," Lin said.
When asked where the medical record had come from, Lin said, "Somebody mailed it to me. Since it was mailed, I do not know whom it was from."
Hu said that he was surprised by Lin's visit but approved of Lin's contrition.
"I accept his apology. It takes courage to apologize," Hu said.
"I understood that as a DPP member, Lin was under pressure for the election. But the election is done and Taiwanese people should reunite. To reunite, nothing is unforgivable," he said.
Meanwhile, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday that it was inappropriate for anyone to publicize another person's medical records, and she expressed regret for the incident.
Lu, who is now the DPP's acting chairwoman, asked that the party's Central Standing Committee meeting next Wednesday discuss whether Lin should face party discipline.
DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (
DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said the party told its legislative caucus before the start of the election campaign that it was opposed to dirty campaign tactics -- such as releasing medical records -- but that Lin was apparently unaware of the party's stance.
On Tuesday, Lin's license to practice medicine was suspended for one year by the Medical Doctor's Disciplinary committee of the Taichung City Government. The other doctors who took part in the press conference were ordered to attend medical ethics classes. One had his license suspended for one month, while the rest just received warnings.