Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday lashed out at Cabinet Secretary-General Hsueh Hsiang-chuan (薛香川) for his comment that the DPP was a “party of violence” and demanded an apology.
Reporting to the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee for the first time following the comment earlier this month, Hsueh was grilled by DPP legislators the moment he stepped into the meeting room.
On Oct. 3, Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) attended a press conference held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus to promote milk and bread produced locally amid China’s tainted milk scare.
Protesting Yeh’s decision to attend the KMT press conference but not the DPP’s, DPP lawmakers tried to persuade Yeh to go to the DPP caucus office as Yeh was leaving and engaged in a physical clash with their KMT colleagues who were escorting Yeh out.
During the clash, Yeh’s blood pressure increased and he was hospitalized at the National Taiwan University Hospital nearby later in the day.
Walking out of the hospital after paying a visit to Yeh, Hsueh said: “After so many years, the DPP is still a party of violence.”
Hsueh came under fire the moment he walked into the meeting room yesterday as he was five minutes late. He explained that he was held up in traffic, but the explanation only drew more fire from DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) as the Executive Yuan is only a few blocks away from the Legislative Yuan.
“You cannot humiliate the entire party like this — do you think it would be reasonable if I called the KMT a ‘party of murderers’ because the KMT’s Cheng Tai-chi [鄭太吉] is a murderer?” DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) asked.
Cheng committed murder in 1994 when he was the Pingtung County Council speaker and was executed in 2000.
“I demand that you apologize to the DPP,” Tsai said.
“Seeing what happened to Yeh, as a Cabinet member I was in great fear at the time and thought that I — or any other government official — may be treated like that as well,” Hsueh said.
Criticism also came from KMT Legislator John Wu (吳志揚), who told Hsueh: “It’s inappropriate for you to make such a comment as a Cabinet official — especially when improving relations with the opposition is an important part of President Ma Ying-jeou’s [馬英九]
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