Sun, Aug 07, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Representative to Singapore cancels flight, airline says

Staff writer, with CNA

Representative to Singapore Antonio Chiang (江春男) canceled his flight to that country yesterday afternoon — the day he was scheduled to take up his post — according to airline personnel.

It was not clear whether Chiang — who was the original editor-in-chief of the Taipei Times — would take a later flight or if his change of schedule was related to calls for him to be replaced after he was arrested earlier in the week for drunk driving.

The bookings for Chiang and two members of his family to travel to Singapore yesterday on a China Airlines (CAL) flight were canceled, CAL personnel said.

Taiwanese media had reported that Chiang was scheduled to depart yesterday afternoon, in time to attend Singapore’s National Day celebrations on Tuesday.

Members of civic group Taiwan Against Drunk Driving yesterday staged a protest in Taichung, the city where Chiang lives, calling on him to resign as the nation’s representative to Singapore.

Group member Lin Mei-na (林美娜) said Chiang’s behavior was “unforgivable” and he should not be posted to Singapore, which she said has the most severe penalties in the world for drunk driving.

The group, which has been protesting over the issue for three days, staged a demonstration in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei on Thursday and Friday, calling for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to fire Chiang.

On Friday, the ministry said that Chiang would travel to Singapore and assume his duties once the judicial procedure in the drunk driving case was completed.

Chiang, 72, has apologized for the incident and said that he has been engaged in self-reflection since his arrest in Taipei in the early hours of Wednesday morning, hours after he was sworn in as representative to Singapore.

He was stopped by Taipei police on Binjiang Street in and given a Breathalyzer test that showed a blood alcohol content of 0.27 milligrams per liter (mg/L), almost double the legal limit of 0.15mg/L.

Chiang was arrested and referred to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for possible indictment on charges of causing a hazard to public safety.

He was released after questioning.

Under Article 185-3 of the Criminal Code, a person who drives with breath alcohol content of 0.25mg/L or more, or a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent or higher, faces a prison term of up to two years and a maximum fine of NT$200,000.

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