Sat, Feb 21, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP refuses to apologize over wife-beating claims

ACCUSATION Hsiao Bi-khim of the DPP said she had nothing to apologize about, and had highlighted the rumor of Lien beating his wife out of concern for domestic violence issues

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The pan-blue camp yesterday demanded an apology from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for accusing Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) of being a wife-beater. The DPP refused to offer such an apology.

Several pan-blue legislators yesterday accused the DPP of mudslinging. They said DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) had publicized a letter a day before from Lin Fu-shen (林福順), a former National Taiwan University professor and advisor to the Presidential Office, in which Lin wrote that, decades ago, he heard Lien's maid say that Lien sometimes beat his wife, Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀).

KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) and People First Party (PFP) Legislator Lee Yung-ping (李永平) held a joint press conference in support of the Lien family. They told the public that the pan-blue camp played fair when the alleged affair between Hsiao and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was revealed.

They also expressed their anger over Hsiao making accusations based only on a letter whose writer was "a fraud" and called for an apology from the green camp.

Huang said that Lin was a fraud who might have been involved in cases of sexual abuse.

"Lin was dean of the National Taiwan University's department of political science for only a short period of time, because he used to invite female students over and then things happened. In the end, the university asked him to leave," Huang said.

Huang also pointed out that Lin was a fraud who tried to embezzle money from others using his status as a lawyer, but that his qualification was later cancelled.

"When Chen Chao-jung (陳朝容), then PFP legislator, made the accusation that Hsiao and President Chen was having an affair without being able to offer any concrete evidence, he was attacked by others from the pan-blue camp and was suspended by the PFP caucus," Lee said.

"We hope now that the DPP would follow this example and discipline Hsiao according to party regulations. We also want her to hold a press conference accompanied by the DPP caucus leaders to offer an apology. We also demand that the Presidential Office deprive Lin of his title as advisor," Lee said.

The DPP did not react to the pan-blue camp's demands. Instead, Hsiao, accompanied by other female DPP legislators and caucus secretary-general Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), held a press conference to say that she was not the first one to allege that Lien was a wife-beater. She highlighted the issue again out of concern for domestic violence issues, she said.

"There is nothing to apologize about. I came out to speak about the issue due to my sense of justice as a woman. The rumor of Lien beating his wife has been in circulation for many years and even [PFP chairman] James Soong (宋楚瑜) mentioned it during the 2000 presidential election," Hsiao said.

"I publicized the letter mainly because of my sympathy for abused women. In the past, when male politicians were involved in scandals, it was usually their wives who spoke up and endorsed them. Why doesn't the abuser speak up instead of the abused?" Hsiao said.

The DPP campaign headquarters yesterday supported Hsiao.

"Domestic violence is not just about personal morals, but it is about violating the Anti-Domestic Violence Law (家暴法). As a presidential candidate faced with issues that might have violated the law, Lien should offer an explanation to the public," said Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), DPP campaign headquarters spokesman.

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