Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) yesterday said he had suspended a plan to remove statues of dictators Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) from military barracks in light of controversy triggered by the plan.
Lee made the remarks during a meeting of the Legislative Yuan's National Defense Committee.
He said President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had not issued any instructions on the statues and that he had not seen any official documents relating to the matter.
Lee said there was a review under way on the renovation of military compounds, but he said he was unaware of the details.
However, he said that because the media had "played up" the issue, the ministry had decided to heed public opinion and suspend the plan.
The plan had been criticized by opposition legislators as an attempt to weed out the influence of the Chiangs -- still acceptable symbols of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) -- from the military.
KMT Legislator Shuai Hua-min (帥化民) said the proposal risked creating something similar to China's Cultural Revolution -- a period in which thousands were killed and much of China's cultural heritage was destroyed as Mao Zedong (毛澤東) used students to purge the Chinese Communist Party to support the creation of a cult of personality.
Lee also denied there was any plan to compose military songs in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) and Hakka languages.
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