Thu, May 19, 2011 - Page 1 News List

KMT suspends party official over Aborigine remarks

Staff Writer, with CNA

A group of Aborigines burn the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) flag in a protest outside the party’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Disciplinary Committee yesterday suspended former Central Standing Committee member Liao Wan-lung (廖萬隆) for three months over his controversial remarks about Aborigines.

Disciplinary committee chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) said Liao would have faced a heavier penalty had he not resigned as a Central Standing Committee member before the committee meeting.

Liao came under heavy fire from KMT and Democratic Progressive Party politicians after he said that Aborigines should be barred from marrying other ethnic groups to ensure the “purity” of their blood and that most Aborigines were “mongrels” during a Central Standing Committee meeting last week.

While the embattled Liao apologized during a press conference on Tuesday, he told reporters afterwards that he did not think he had made any mistakes, adding that Aborigines were “very easy to control,” comments that triggered another wave of criticism.

Although news of Liao’s resignation came as the disciplinary committee was meeting in the morning, most committee members still believed they should proceed with disciplinary action against Liao, Hung said.

“His [Liao’s] resignation shows he regrets what he did and as such, we decided not to seek a heavier penalty and we only suspended his party membership for three months,” Hung said.

The decision was intended to be a reminder to all KMT members — especially those who serve as officials — to be more careful when they speak publicly, Hung said.

Although Liao’s remarks appear to have come from good intentions, his inappropriate wording created controversy and damaged the party’s image, Hung said.

“It was too serious a mistake ... we have to sanction him,” Hung said.

In response, Liao said that he respected the disciplinary committee’s decision and he hoped that the media would report the matter fairly.

He called on reporters not to “exaggerate” certain issues, as this would be detrimental to “ethnic relations.”

Liao said he hoped his punishment would end the controversy.

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