Thu, Jan 24, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Hitting minister ‘wrong’: entertainer

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun, center, talks to reporters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chen I-kuan, Taipei Times

Former entertainer Lisa Cheng (鄭心儀) was yesterday confronted by pro-localization protesters as she went to the Ministry of Culture in Taipei in a failed attempt to apologize to Minister of Culture Cheng Li-Chiun (鄭麗君) for slapping her in the face on Tuesday.

Lisa Cheng slapped the minister at a Chinese Television System-hosted lunar year-end banquet for veteran entertainers, saying that the minister “had it coming” for attempting to purge all memory of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his son, former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), from history by “pushing policies aimed at demolishing the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.”

After the banquet, she visited the police and the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, which placed limitations on her movement for alleged obstruction of official duties, assault and public defamation.

Lisa Cheng yesterday said that her apology was sincere, adding that her “actions were wrong” and set a bad example.

Asked whether it was arbitrary to label the ministry’s transitional justice policies as purging the memories of the Chiangs from history, Lisa Cheng said that the minister “is pushing for the demolition of the memorial hall. That is what I saw on the news.”

However, she said that admitting her actions were wrong does not mean that Cheng Li-Chiun’s actions are right, and called on the ministry not to demolish the hall.

Asked about media reports of her participation in China Unification Promotion Party events, Lisa Cheng said that such reports are meaningless, as the events were open to the public.

Ministry official Chang Hui-chun (張惠君) said that the minister’s thoughts on the incident were made clear in an official news release and on her Facebook page.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that it is wrong to resort to violence and called on the public to be rational when expressing opinions.

Tsai, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) have all called Cheng Li-Chiun to offer consolation.

Raising the hypothetical question of what would have happened if the incident had taken place during the White Terror era, Tsai said that the answer was exactly why democracy should be cherished.

Separately, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairperson Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said in a radio interview that he did not endorse violence, but added that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should have a unifying standard when considering violent actions.

Hau on Tuesday said on Facebook that “the slap hurts, but many have also been hurt by the DPP’s desinicization efforts,” adding that the slap was the result of “the government forcing people to rebel.”

In 2008, Tsai, who was then DPP chairperson, organized a protest against a visit by then-Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) that resulted in injured police and bystanders, he said.

“Tsai said at the time that the KMT government had ‘forced the people to rebel,’” Hau said.

The DPP should not castigate the government when it is not in power and forbid violence when it is in office, he said.

Quoting Tsai, Hau said that he wished the public would “regard protesters with empathy.”

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