The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday demanded an apology from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for remarks made by lawmakers from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) who called world-renowned AIDS researcher David Ho (何大一) a “pimp.”
The actual phrase used by KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) in his criticism of Ho was san qi zai (三 七仔), which means a hustler in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), referring to a method of splitting revenue 30-70 with a prostitute.
Tsai said during a political TV show that Ho’s role in the Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司) case was not that of a scientist, but rather that of a “san qi zai, and a very terrible one at that,” while fellow KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) also called Ho “a disgrace to the scientific field.”
The Yu Chang issue came to the fore on Thursday last week when KMT legislators raised questions concerning procedural legality and alleged irregularities on DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) part in her capacity as vice premier in 2007 on the founding of Yu Chang, now known as TaiMed Biologics Co (中裕新藥股份有限公司).
The KMT accused Tsai Ing-wen of a conflict of interest for signing off on the investment and then becoming the company’s chairperson just months after stepping down as vice premier, to which the DPP has responded by saying that she stepped down as vice premier in May 2007 and did not join TaiMed until three months later at the invitation of former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), Academia Sinica president Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) and Ho.
In view of the KMT lawmakers’ latest criticism of Ho — a -Taiwanese--American who is a renowned scientist in the field of HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention and also director and chief executive of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center — DPP spokesperson Kang Yu-cheng (康裕成) questioned at a press conference yesterday “whether the elections have to be like this, that after slandering Tsai Ing-wen, [the KMT] also smears biotechnology scientists,” adding that Ma and his campaign team should apologize.
“This insane form of general accusations and criticism of world-class biotechnology researchers and scientists is all because Ma’s election efforts are going downhill,” added DPP spokesperson, Chuang Ruey-hsiung (莊瑞雄). “The KMT is slandering Tsai [Ing-wen] for the elections’ sake and now they’re dragging world-class scientists into the fray.”
Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer