Fri, Feb 20, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Lien Fang Yu says her husband never hit her

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) wife Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀) yesterday denied rumors that that her husband was a wifebeater.

"It's a bad thing that the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] is saying that my husband beat me because he treats me very well," she told reporters at the pan-blue alliance's campaign headquarters yesterday evening.

Her appearance came several hours after a former neighbor of the couple had issued a statement saying that he had heard of rumors decades ago that Lien beat his wife.

Lin Fu-shen (林福順), an advisor to the Presidential Office, issued the statement yesterday via DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim's (蕭美琴) office.

Lin's statement said that when he was a neighbor of the Lien family between 1968 and 1970, he heard Lien's maid saying Lien would sometimes beat his wife.

Lin and Lien were members of National Taiwan University's political science department at the time.

"Mr Lien Chan's maid would come to my place to chat with my maid, talking about some episodes in the Lien family's life," the 76-year old Lin wrote.

"[Lien's maid said] Lien sometimes would abuse and beat Fang Yu," Lin wrote.

Lien Fang Yu appeared at the campaign headquarters along with a woman who had worked as a maid for the Lien family during the period mentioned by Lin.

The woman, surnamed Wen, told reporters that she had been surprised by allegations that Lien Chan was a wifebeater because he and his wife were a loving couple.

She said she had worked for the couple for seven years and had never seen the KMT chief beat his wife.

In a phone call with the Taipei Times earlier in the day, Lin said that he and Lien were friends.

"I just happened to hear the chitchat between the maids when I was in the living room when they were talking in there. I did not ask for further details," Lin said.

"I issued the statement because I watched the debate between the two presidential candidates, and when Chen [Shui-bian (陳水扁)] said that he did not beat his wife, the pan-blue camp insisted that he apologize," Lin said.

"But Chen was not saying that anyone was a wifebeater, and so I decided to issue my statement," Lin said.

Lin's statement enraged the KMT.

"The incident mentioned by Lin Fu-shen in his statement happened over 30 years ago, and it was hearsay from his maid. It was not something he saw personally. If Lin really knows that Lien beats his wife, why doesn't he show up [in public]?" said KMT spokeswoman Kuo Su-chun (郭素春).

Kuo urged the DPP to refrain from mudslinging in the campaign and refocus its election strategy on national policies.

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