Thu, Sep 13, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Soccer fans accuse Ma of lying over Taipei flag ban

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two spectators who attended games during the 2001 Asian Women's Soccer Championships in Taipei yesterday accused former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of lying, saying Taipei police had told them they could not bring the national flag to the event.

Showing pictures taken during the game, Huang Shu-chun (黃淑純) and her friend, surnamed Wu (), condemned police for searching bags at the entrance to ensure people were not bringing the national flag and shouting at them when the flag was nonetheless waved during the game.

"I feel so sad that in my own country I could not bring the national flag to an event," Huang said at the Taipei City Council.

Wu said to take the flag into the stadium they had cut it into four pieces so that police would not find it.

Huang said Ma's contention that the city government had never banned people from taking the national flag to international games, or that police had used a "light" approach to dissuade people from using it, was a lie and asked that he make a public apology.

"The things you've done will leave a mark. Ma did ban us from carrying the national flag at the game. He failed to protect Taipei City and Taiwanese," she said.

Accompanying the duo, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Yen Sheng-kuan (顏聖冠) criticized Ma for failing to defend people's right to fly the national flag.

In response, Ma said yesterday that the issue of the national flag showed that the DPP had joined forces with China to repress the Republic of China, adding that he would sue Yen and former DPP legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) for defamation.

Ma spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) called on DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to encourage all DPP members and supporters to wave the national flag and sing the national anthem during its rallies on Saturday to show their passion for national symbols.

"If the DPP fails to do so, it would make it clear that it is cooperating with the Chinese Communist Party to repress the Republic of China, because both of them refuse to fly the national flag," he said.

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