Mon, Aug 24, 2009 - Page 3 News List

MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Sacked GIO official in hot water again over remarks

WAR OF WORDS Web users have been quick to criticize Kuo Kuan-ying’s defense of the government’s relief efforts, while some lawmakers urged people to ignore him

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Government Information Office (GIO) official Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英) came under fire yesterday for saying foreign aid was unnecessary in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot and that the government has done well with its relief efforts.

Kuo told reporters at a New Party anniversary party on Saturday that Cabinet Secretary-General Hsueh Hsiang-chuan (薛香川) had not been been wrong to attend a Fathers’ Day dinner at a five-star hotel in Taipei on Aug. 8, the day many areas in the south were hit by severe flooding and torrential rain.

“I was having sex with my wife when the disaster occurred — I needed to eat, to make love, to shit and to brush my teeth,” Kuo said. “What good does it do if I rush to visit the victims? If they died, they died.”

“So if our government officials want to celebrate Fathers’ Day, have a haircut or do whatever they should do, it’s normal,” he said.

The government had been right to decline offers of assistance from other countries, he said.

“It was seven or eight days later when we asked for helicopters from other countries — what good can the helicopters do seven or eight days after the flooding occurred?” Kuo said. “They can do nothing more than transport dead bodies.”

China’s offer of assistance was an exception, however, since it was “domestic assistance,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) said people shouldn’t pay too much attention to what Kuo said.

“Since Kuo is no longer a public servant, I don’t think we need to pay much attention to what he says,” Huang said. “But I’m glad that he’s no longer an official stationed abroad, otherwise our relations with other countries and our national interests could be damaged.”

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) also dismissed Kuo’s comments, saying that “that man’s remarks were not worth responding to.”

Meanwhile, Kuo’s remarks have been widely criticized on the Web.

“[Kuo is] garbage talking trash,” Internet user Jack2002326 commented under a video recording of Kuo’s comments posted on YouTube.

“I would praise him for saying ‘if they died, they died’ if members of his family died in the disaster,” Evelyn1984girl said.

“Is he a human being?” many users asked.

“You eat, you shit, you make love regardless of what happens, and so do pigs — so how are you different from pigs?” asked Kevin01cj, a member of the social networking service Plurk.

Others, such as blogger Quentin Kao and YouTube member LoveFCU, said that Kuo was brave enough to say aloud what President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and other high-ranking officials were thinking.

Kuo was fired earlier this year for publishing derogatory comments about Taiwan written while serving at the representative office in Toronto.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG

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