President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday expressed thanks for messages of congratulations about his daughte Lesley’s (馬唯中) marriage and asked for understanding of his family’s hopes for more privacy.
Lesley Ma, the elder of the president’s two daughters, became the center of attention this week after news broke that she had married her Harvard University schoolmate Allen Tsai (蔡沛然) in New York last year and that she held a wedding banquet in Taipei on Saturday.
The Presidential Office did not confirm the reports until Monday night, when Presidential Office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said that Lesley Ma and Tsai married in New York last year and that a private gathering at the Grand Hotel in Taipei on Saturday was actually a dinner with their old Harvard schoolmates.
The latest issue of the Chinese-language Next Magazine said yesterday that Lesley Ma and Tsai, a model-turned-banker, dated for 10 years before getting married. It said they held a wedding banquet on Wednesday last week at the Presidential Residence. The president and first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青), as well as members of Tsai’s family, attended the low-key banquet, the report said.
The president, who also doubles as chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), had presided over a party Central Standing Committee meeting and then a meeting on pension reform on Wednesday last week, but left in the middle of the second meeting to attend the banquet, the report said.
Ma Ying-jeou yesterday declined to confirm the wedding banquet took place and said he had not announced that his daughter was getting married because she had asked him not to and he respected her decision.
“My daughter is an adult and she wanted to have a low-profile wedding. I must respect her decision. I ask for forgiveness if there was any inconsideration and I thank everyone for your blessings,” he said yesterday when presiding over a Central Standing Committee meeting at KMT headquarters.
He accepted the congratulations of committee members and when asked by some members whether he felt a sense of happiness, said he was “very happy.”