Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Lawmaker slammed over Chen Chu gibe

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu points to a street sign for Tibet Street in Kaohsiung’s Kushan district on Tuesday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHUNG-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Chia-chen (盧嘉辰) yesterday came under fire for his remarks ridiculing Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying that Chen’s minor stroke in 2007 was the result of bad karma after she demolished a statue of former dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

“When the DPP was in power, it dismantled CKS Memorial Hall. What did it get in return? Chen Chu suffered a stroke. This was what we call karma. The CKS Memorial Hall is a shrine … Whoever infringes upon it will meet with disaster,” Lu said on the legislative floor during a question-and-answer session with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) yesterday.

The former DPP government did not demolish CKS Memorial Hall, instead renaming it National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall. Chiang’s statue in Kaohsiung City was not demolished, but cut into pieces and shipped in 79 pieces to the Chiang Kai-shek Statue Park in Dasi Township (大溪), Taoyuan County.

Chen was quoted by the Central News Agency yesterday as saying that she refused to dignify Lu’s remarks with any comment, except to say that taking down the statue was the collective will of local residents because the bronze statue stood for totalitarianism.

DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), however, demanded that Lu apologize.

“He is acting immorally by taking a stab at somebody’s health problems,” Chen said. “Anyone would feel hurt if they heard something like that being said about them.”

Implying that Lu may also be punished by karma for making such comments, DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) said: “Speaking in an ethical manner is also very important. I think that karma would also have a role to play in matters of ethics.”

When asked for comment, KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) said Lu should offer an apology to Chen.

“[Lu] should refrain from making comments that start a cycle of reprisals,” Lo said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHELLEY HUANG AND JENNY W. HSU

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