"Life is precious, think for two more minutes -- you don't have to kill yourself," Buddhist Master Sheng Yen (
Words of wisdom from an old master, it's a statement that local politicians should keep in mind when making rash comments, such as threatening suicide, academics said yesterday.
After coming under fire from both the pan-blue and pan-green camps for barging into Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's (
Fa quit his position as KMT caucus whip on Thursday and his membership in the KMT on Friday as an expression of apology for the potential damage he might have inflicted on Ma's election bid.
Fai is not the only politician who has offered to end his life.
One day after Fai made such a remark, KMT Vice Chairman John Kuan (
Many also remember that last October, a Central Election Commission member recommended by the People First Party, Chao Shu-chien (
Seppuku is a Japanese ritual of committing suicide by disembowelment.
The commission did proceed to have a vote on it, and Chao didn't follow through on his word, dismissing it later as a mere joke.
Shih Cheng-feng (施正鋒), dean of the College of Indigenous Studies at National Donghwa University, said yesterday that seppuku is a Japanese ritual to show that a person is ashamed of his own actions.
"It's sacred and is morally very symbolic; however, the politicians have made such vows a joke," he said.
Tseng Chien-yuan (
"Public issues should be discussed rationally in society," Tseng said. "Threatening to commit suicide is more like what terrorists or extremists would do."
While such rash words by politicians may have an impact on their supporters to a certain degree, especially during a period when tempers are running high as the election approaches, Tseng said that making such comments "would create an atmosphere of unrest in society, which is certainly negative."
Kuan Chung-hsiang (
"Politicians set bad examples by using provocative language that would only heighten the political standoff," he said. "Younger politicians or voters may learn from them, and it's not a good thing."
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