Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-presidential candidate Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday offered an apology after footage surfaced of his wife at a party about a decade ago where entertainment was provided by male strippers and men dressed as women.
At an impromptu press conference in the morning, Su apologized for the incident, saying that attending such a function “fell short of public expectations.”
Su said his wife was invited to a friend’s birthday party in 2002 and she had no prior knowledge that the event would involve male strippers.
“We will be more discrete in what we say and how we behave as figures in the public eye,” he said.
The video recording of the party, shown on the TVBS 2100 talk show on Wednesday night, was provided by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅).
In the video, Hung Heng-chu (洪恆珠), then-head of Pingtung County Government’s Household Registration Office, while Su was county commissioner, is seen enjoying herself at the party.
Chiu yesterday continued to attack Hung and Su.
“As a senior public servant who has a police background, Hung should have avoided attending such an event, which was detrimental to public morality and ethics,” Chiu said.
Asked by reporters how Hung’s behavior was “illegal” given that she attended the party outside work hours, Chiu said the matter was one of morals, not law.
“If misfortune happens, Hung could be the nation’s first lady. If her past was only then made public, how awkward would that be? We can all see the point here, especially when we compare Hung with first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青),” Chiu said.
Hung was absent from work yesterday and could not be reached for comment.
The incident sparked mixed reactions in Pingtung County.
Tang Yu-chin (唐玉琴), a KMT county councilor, said it was inappropriate for Hung, a former police officer and at that time wife of the county commissioner, to hang out with the group of wealthy women watching the show.
Hsu Yu-hsiu (許玉秀), chief of Pingtung County’s Changjhih Township (長治) and a member of the DPP, said there could be a perfectly good reason for Hung’s attendance.
“For example, she might not have known there was going to be a show and once there she felt it would be impolite to leave early,” Su said.
DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) fired back at Chiu, accusing the KMT of having double standards.
Pointing at a picture of a KMT event in October 2009 in which a scantily clad woman snuggles up to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Tsai said that if Hong had presented a bad public image, then similar concerns should be raised about Ma.
Tsai said that a similar incident had occurred in April 2007, during which Ma’s aides, then defending for Ma, said Ma would not shy away from the event because he was not prejudiced against any profession.
“That’s Ma’s attitude, so get it right, Mr Chiu,” Tsai said.
DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said Chiu’s accusations against Hong were groundless, adding that one can only know about the actual situation at a party after getting there.
“Should Hung have walked out or asked the host to change the show?” Huang asked, adding that political figures tended to engage in such activities more often than ordinary people anyway.
Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang,with translation by Jake Chung