Political commentator and psychiatrist Billy Pan (潘建志) yesterday apologized to members of a medical station set up in the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan during the Sunflower movement, after accusing the volunteers of “unethically withdrawing” before the occupation of the chamber ended.
“I would like to express my deep apologies for making volunteers at the medical station uncomfortable with my recent post,” Pan said on Facebook yesterday.
“I would like to pay my respects to members of the medical team for their great contributions during the Sunflower movement, and their participation in the event that changed the fate of the nation,” he wrote.
“My Facebook post only represents my personal views and feelings. I may have remembered things wrong and I plead your forgiveness for the mistakes, and I apologize for the troubles that I have caused you,” he added.
Pan, who recently announced he would run for a seat in the legislature in next year’s elections, has been criticized for a post on Friday in which he said the medical team removed all their equipment and personnel before the actual end of the occupation.
The volunteers had been “unethical” he wrote, adding that if military doctors tried to run away early, “they would be shot dead right there.”
Medical professionals who had volunteered to work at the medical station and people who participated in the sit-in in the chamber had been quick to criticize his remarks.
Huang Chun-wei (黃峻偉), a doctor from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Chiayi who had been a medical volunteer, said the medical team stayed in the legislative chamber until April 10, when all the protesters walked out of the chamber.
Although Pan was in and out of the chamber several times during the occupation, he had been on his own, and was never a member of the medical team as he claimed, Huang said.
Pan has also gotten into hot water with Chen Fei-chuan (陳斐娟), the host of a political talk show, for saying that the show was pressured to stop discussing the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation’s plans to develop a plot of land in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), and the foundation’s overseas investments.
Chen said that the issues had been discussed on the show for several days in a row, so a decision was made to talk about other issues as there had been no new developments in the Tzu Chi case.
While Pan has publicly maintained he said nothing wrong, Chen said he apologized to her in a private conversation.
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