Tue, Apr 26, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Gaffe-prone DPP lawmaker sorry for Muslim comments

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator apologized yesterday after he and his wife tied Muslims to terrorism and al--Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden during a high-profile campaign event over the weekend.

DPP Legislator Yu Tien (余天) called the remarks a light-hearted joke, but said he felt “deeply apologetic” to Muslims offended by his comments, which he made in front of thousands of supporters.

“We weren’t trying to connect Muslims with terrorists and we hope the public doesn’t misunderstand us,” Yu said in a statement. “We respect every religion.”


The incident took place during the final night of rallies as Yu and his wife, Lee Ya-ping (李亞萍), stumped for DPP presidential hopeful Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in New Taipei City (新北市).

Speaking to the audience, Lee, who described herself as a former Muslim, said she was like a “Muslim terrorist early on … like [Osama] bin Laden.”

Replying, Yu said: “People have been saying that I am afraid of my wife. Faced with such a Muslim militant, how could I not be afraid?”


Although the remarks drew laughter from the crowd, organizers realizing the sensitivity of the comments immediately attempted to downplay the comments.

A statement apologizing for the gaffe was also released by Tsai’s campaign team late on Sunday night.

“[Yu] was a bit nervous; what he meant to say was that all our Islamic friends are very easy to get along with,” Tsai’s spokesperson Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) hurriedly told the crowd.

It is not the first time the gaffe-prone former singer has drawn controversy.


He apologized to Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) in September last year after he was caught on camera describing Hu’s wife, who was seriously injured in a car accident in November 2006, as “not being right in the head.”

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