KMT spokesman plays down Sean Lien comments

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Nov 06, 2012 - Page 1

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) yesterday downplayed controversial remarks by Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), saying that while they may be well-intentioned, some could be misinterpreted.

Yin was referring to comments by Sean Lien on Saturday that the majority of Taiwanese, except for those who are politically oriented, could not care less about who will run for Taipei mayor in the seven-in-one elections in 2014 and that whoever is elected in the midst of a sluggish domestic economy “could be, at the very most, the master of a beggar clan.”

Sean Lien, who doubles as the deputy director of the Taipei City Government’s Economic Development Commission, also called on the government to prioritize propping up the lackluster domestic economy.

In addition to KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), who officially announced his intention on Sunday to run for Taipei mayor in 2014, Sean Lien and KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) are also expected to stand.

“KMT headquarters believes that criticism and advice by some party members are well-intentioned and meant to help the party,” Yin said.

“We will listen to suggestions and take action where necessary,” he added.

Yin said that while he believed that Sean Lien’s comments were well-meant, some of his remarks could be open to misinterpretation by the public and some grassroots party members, therefore “party headquarters must dispel misunderstandings through clarifications.”

Yin reiterated that the party welcomes all members to compete for nominations for various electoral posts and encourages them to “stand side-by-side with the people.”

Yin said the KMT’s official line was reached after an intra-party meeting and that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as party chairman, also acknowledged the need to clarify the KMT’s stance to the public.

Sean Lien’s special assistant, Hsu Hung-ting (徐弘庭), said KMT members and spokespeople should put more emphasis on economic matters, as the public expects.

Hsu said he could not comment on KMT headquarters’ response to Sean Lien’s remarks as they had not discussed the matter, but added that from his own perspective, Sean Lien’s statements were not problematic.