Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Premier does not deny cursing in meeting

IN DEEP ‘MA DE’:Wu Den-yih said he would be particularly careful in future not to use ‘folksy language’ when having discussions with academics and experts

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Premier Wu Den-yih gestures during a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday did not deny that he cursed five times during a meeting with a group of activists on Wednesday as he tried to talk them out of a planned overnight sit-in this weekend to protest the government’s land seizures.

After the 90-minute meeting meeting with Wu, Liao Pen-chuan (廖本全), an associate professor at National Taipei University’s Department of Real Estate and Built Environment, and one of the farmers’ rights activists representatives told reporters that Wu said ma de (媽的, equivalent of the word “shit”) in a low voice at least five times during the meeting.

“I think it was an expression of his unhappiness at us keeping our eye on the government’s [farmland expropriation policy] ... He must have meant to say it, otherwise he wouldn’t have said it five times,” Liao said.

That the story made the headlines in local media prompted Wu to appear at a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday. He usually does not take part in these press conferences.

“Not even the microphone picked up [the word] ... The [word] was too soft to be heard,” Wu said, in reference to criticism leveled against him by Liao.

“It was probably when I relayed the opinions of other people in a low voice. You have to know that I have been through many elections. Sometimes I imitate their tones in a vivid manner,” Wu said.

Wu said he would be particularly careful in future not to use “folksy language” when having discussions with academics and experts.

The farmers plan to return to the Presidential Office plaza tomorrow on the one-year anniversary of the day the government vowed to amend the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例) to prevent the misuse of expropriation rights over agricultural land, a promise the farmers say has not been kept.

Farmers from Dapu (大埔) in Miaoli County and Siangsihliao (相思寮) in Changhua County, whose land was expropriated to make way for the expansion of science parks, are expected to attend the sit-in protest.

Farmers from Jhubei City (竹北) and Erchongpu (二重埔) in Jhudong Township (竹東), Hsinchu County, and residents from Tucheng (土城) and Sanchong (三重) in New Taipei City who face having to move because of development projects are also expected to attend the protest.

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