The Ministry of Education and the Examination Yuan yesterday advocated revising Taiwanese history to state that Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) is not the nation's founding father, triggering protests from that opposition camp and accusations that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is actively promoting independence.
A close aide to the president rebutted the "inappropriate" statements yesterday, and said they do not represent President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) views and are not the government's policy.
Yesterday was the commemoration day of the national father's birth. The presidential office accordingly held memorial assembly which Chen, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and representatives from five branches of the central government attended.
Examination Yuan President Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) and Examination Yuan member Lin Yu-ti's (林玉體) remarks regarding Sun's status triggered complaints from the opposition parties and depicted DPP beginning a large scale cultural revolution.
Many members of the DPP are concerned that with only one month before the legislative election, controversial issues regarding the nation's status and history will have adverse effects on the DPP's electoral prospects.
Chen's aide said yesterday that "Lin cannot represent the government, and definitely cannot represent the DPP."
"The opposition camp painstakingly presented these inappropriate statements by other people as Chen's words. Their methods are merely focussed on the election," the presidential aide, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
The aide also pointed out that Chen was unimpressed with members of the Ministry of Education and the Examination Yuan causing controversies with the issues of Taiwanese history.
The revision of history text books is not a matter of urgency given the legislative elections and the topic remains extremely controversial among the public.