Ma apologizes for harsh remarks about Chen

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Thu, Jun 15, 2006 - Page 3

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday offered a public apology over harsh comments he made recently against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), and promised to use more caution in his rhetoric.

While making closing remarks at the KMT's Central Standing Committee last Wednesday, Ma said that Chen would "die a horrible death" if he didn't step down immediately, and urged the president to voluntarily resign instead of waiting to be recalled.

Ma admitted the remarks were improper. He made the admission in response to a letter to the editor published in the Chinese-language daily the China Times on Tuesday. The letter writer said that Ma was regarded as an upright, honest politician, and was seen as the most suitable person to serve as the next president, and that as such he should not speak in such an indecent way.

"I made the comments because I was too angry about President Chen's lack of sincerity in responding to the recent scandals involving his family members. It did set a bad example for society," Ma said in a letter to the editor published in yesterday's China Times.

Ma said that politicians should not curse others, adding that he would be more cautious with his use of language.

"[Using bad language] is against my own principals and I felt uneasy right after I said those words," he said yesterday before presiding over KMT's Central Standing Committee at the party's headquarters.

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