Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and his wife, Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬), should demonstrate class and decorum when speaking in public, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials said yesterday, while a Kaohsiung city councilor accused Lee of making baseless claims.
At an event in Pingtung County on Monday, Lee expressed concern about gender equality education, citing a friend as saying that course materials for third and sixth-graders contained references to anal sex and orgasms respectively.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is seeking re-election, yesterday said that Han, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate in next year’s presidential election, and his wife should not be vulgar and base their statements on facts.
Vulgarity is a theme with Han and Lee, who should discontinue its use, Tsai said.
The Ministry of Education also issued a statement disputing Lee’s comments.
Meanwhile, New Power Party Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Chieh (黃捷) called Han and Lee the source of “public chaos,” saying that they have become accustomed to making comments without fact-checking.
Huang said that she went through the course materials and could not find the information that Lee claimed they contained.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that Lee was “irresponsible” and spreading false information.
Su also said that Han’s description of Tsai running with former premier William Lai (賴清德) as her vice presidential candidate was inappropriate.
Han on Monday compared a possible Tsai-Lai ticket to characters from Chinese-language literary classic Water Margin (水滸傳): the dwarf Wu Dalang (武大郎) and his wife, Pan Jinlian (潘金蓮).
Han’s description — “Pan and Wu under the blanket; their heads lie on the same pillow, but their feet match not” — refered to the appearance of harmony, but possible internal strife.
The DPP knows well the “essence of democracy” and that its members would always stand united, despite fierce internal competition, Su said, referring to a bruising presidential primary between Tsai and Lai in June.
Han should be more concerned about infighting in his own party, rather than insinuate disunity in the DPP with improper metaphors, Su said.
Separately yesterday, a source said on condition of anonymity that Han was making improper statements to obfuscate a property deal.
Han’s image as an “everyman” has been challenged after media reports that he purchased a presale luxury apartment in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港) in 2011 for NT$70 million (US$2.3 million at the current exchange rate).
Han reportedly sold the apartment in 2015 at a loss of about 3.5 percent.
Han, Lee and KMT Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) equating vulgarity with being regular folk is a sign that they look down on everyday people, the source said.
Additional reporting by Chen Wen-chan and Su Yung-yao
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