Wed, Aug 10, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Tsai respects envoy’s resignation

HEAVY CONSCIENCE:Representative to Singapore Antonio Chiang said he wanted to dedicate himself to Taiwan, but was torn by guilt for causing issues for the government

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Against Drunk Driving members hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday, calling for Representative to Singapore Antonio Chiang to resign or be replaced after he was fined for drunk driving. Chiang announced his resignation later yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The Presidential Office yesterday said it respects Representative to Singapore Antonio Chiang’s (江春男) decision to step down from his post over a drunk-driving case.

“President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) respects Chiang’s decision to resign from his post. Arrangements will be made for the designation of a new representative to Singapore,” Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.

Huang made the remarks shortly after Chiang issued a statement through the state-owned Central News Agency yesterday morning announcing his resignation, amid calls from advocates against drunk driving that Chiang be removed from his post.

“I do not seek fame and social status. All I have ever wanted was to dedicate myself to this island, but I have been torn by guilt for causing problems for the government before assuming the post,” Chiang wrote, adding that he had tendered his resignation to Tsai and Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) earlier in the day.

Chiang was caught driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.27 milligrams per liter (mg/L) in Taipei late on Tuesday last week, hours after he was sworn in to the diplomatic post.

Citing Chiang’s demonstration of remorse and that his drunk-driving violation did not cause any injuries, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday provisionally suspended his case and fined him NT$60,000.

According to Article 185-3 of the Criminal Code, a person who drives with a breath alcohol content of 0.25mg/L, or blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent, or more faces a prison term of up to two years and a fine of up to NT$200,000.

Since news of Chiang’s drunk driving case broke, members of the group Taiwan Against Drunk Driving had been staging protests urging him to resign and called on the government to replace him.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said that the ministry has conveyed the office’s statement to the Singaporean government.

Chiang, a veteran journalist and first editor-in-chief of the Taipei Times, served as deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council from 2000 to 2004 under the previous Democratic Progressive Party government.

Until recently, he was a columnist who wrote frequently for the Chinese-language Apple Daily on political affairs.

Additional reporting by CNA

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