Executive Yuan spokesperson Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉) last night tendered his resignation after he posted a message on his Facebook page earlier yesterday saying that he and a former student recently started a relationship.
Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) has approved his resignation, Hu said.
Earlier yesterday, Hu announced he was quitting Facebook until he leaves his position with the government, after he posted a message about his new love affair with a former student who had been writing a master’s thesis under his supervision.
“I will not post any more messages on the wall of my Facebook page until I retire from my position, because any posts on my Facebook page have become the focus of media attention,” Hu said by telephone.
He said in his last, 1,200-words-long post on his Facebook page that he and Chang Jung-chun (張蓉君), also known as Amelie Chang, a student in pursuit of her master’s degree at National Taiwan Normal University, where Hu also serves as professor in mass communication, recently started a relationship.
In line with academic ethics, Hu said he and Chang decided to terminate their supervisor-student relationship. He added that Chang has abandoned the nearly complete dissertation she worked on under his supervision and has found another supervisor and a different thesis topic.
He said he posted the message “unwillingly,” because he recently received anonymous letters coercing him to reveal details of his personal life.
Hu said he has been dogged by this kind of blackmail ever since his first marriage ended about 10 years ago and that he told his bosses about the situation before he joined the Cabinet on May 20.
Saying that he is receptive to criticism and suggestions regarding his performance in the public sphere, Hu also appealed for privacy in his personal life.
“I believe it a consensus of society that we should all respect and protect the privacy of any individual,” Hu said.
He said his latest Facebook message did not suggest that he intended to quit, nor that he was told to resign, although he had told the premier on several occasions that he is ready to leave at any time if he is seen as a burden rather than an asset to the Cabinet team.
Hu had stirred up controversy recently when he posted a picture of Apple’s iPhone 5 on his Facebook page, along with a line that encouraged more consumption to boost the economy.
He later offered an apology and said that the posting was aimed at attracting the public’s attention to the Cabinet’s economy-stimulus proposals.