People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) has become embroiled in controversy once again after a two-minute televised commercial aired during the 50th Golden Bell Awards ceremony on Saturday.
Produced by a pro-Soong organization titled the “Spring Breeze Youth Policy Think Tank,” the commercial featured video clips of Soong visiting people affected by natural catastrophes during his term as Taiwan provincial governor from 1994 to 1998, joining political events and interacting with his late wife, Chen Wan-shui (陳萬水).
A slogan appeared a few seconds before the advertisement ended, reading: “[Only those who are] faithful to their wives and faithful to their children will be faithful to their country.”
The commercial quickly drew criticism online.
Some netizens said the commercial’s underlying concept equated single people to disloyal residents, while others said Soong must have been unfaithful to his country before he got married and had children.
Taipei City Councilor Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said on Facebook on Saturday night that the PFP was relapsing into its old habit of attacking single women.
“The PFP has just apologized for its attack on unmarried, single women. And now it is doing it again,” Kao said.
Kao shared a screenshot of a much-criticized picture posted by a PFP-managed fan page on Monday last week, which depicted presidential candidates Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party and Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) against the backdrop of a photograph of a mother carrying her child on her back.
It featured a slogan reading: “How can two single women possibly understand the needs of a family?”
The picture was removed after severe criticism online and PFP Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) apologized over “inappropriate comments” aimed at single women.
Soong campaign office spokesperson Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) said the advertisement was made by PFP supporters and that the party did not play any part in its production.
“Soong is grateful for all the support he has received from the public ... but the slogan depicted in the ad does not reflect his values or principles,” Chen Yi-chieh said.
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