Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) yesterday shot back at allegations by the media that an event organized by his ministry on Sunday was a rally for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his running mate, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
“One should have a sense of right and wrong, as well as a conscience, when commenting on issues,” Wu Ching-ji said.
Following the weekend symposium, media reported that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Greater Taichung campaign headquarters had accused the minister of education of violating administrative neutrality by using a symposium on 12-year compulsory education policy to stump for Ma ahead of the Jan. 14 elections.
The DPP was reported as saying it hoped prosecutors would look into the matter.
In a press conference yesterday, Wu Ching-ji said he was an invited guest at the event and had been invited to give a speech, adding that he never mentioned the elections and only discussed educational policies.
He said his speech was on how the government was doing its job and that the Ministry of Education had accomplished much over the past three years, such as the 12-year compulsory education policy.
“Now we can’t even say it? We can’t promote the policy?” Wu said.
“Election season does not mean losing the ability to distinguish right from wrong, the government is doing its job and everybody sees it,” Wu said.
“I’m willing to respect the freedom of speech of the representative [from Tsai’s campaign headquarters] because he doesn’t understand the situation, but further comments will result in legal action,” the minister said.
Asked whether he felt aggrieved by the accusations, Wu Ching-ji said: “It often happens, it is not a big problem,” but then added that although Taiwan was a democratic society, comments should be made with a sense of right and wrong.
“I didn’t use any public resources, therefore there was no issue of administrative neutrality” he said.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer