Presidential Office attacks ‘inappropriate’ criticism

By Ko Shu-ling  /  Staff Reporter

Sun, Feb 13, 2011 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should be held responsible for her party members’ use of inappropriate language to denounce the way President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has handled the deportation of 14 Taiwanese by the Philippines to China, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said Tsai seemed unable to differentiate between commentary on current events and personal attacks.

For example, Lo said if anyone criticized Tsai for lacking morals and courage or failing to distinguish between right and wrong because she was reluctant to denounce former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), that person would be making a comment on a current event.

However, anyone who called Tsai a “turtle’s grandson” (龜孫子, a wimp) for not speaking up for the former president was using a serious insult, Lo said.

Citing another example, Lo said if someone denounced Tsai’s declaration that the Republic of China is a government in exile as diminishing the national character, it would be a commentary on a current event.

However, Lo said it would be a personal attack if that person imitated Tsai and repeated her comment that “even dogs had a second opinion” in reference to Ma’s argument for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

“Please don’t forget that a party chairperson has the responsibility of setting an example,” Lo said. “Not staging personal attacks on anybody is a basic requirement.”

Lo was referring to Tsai’s comment about remarks by DPP caucus whip Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) on Thursday describing Ma as a “turtle’s grandson” for staying silent in the face of the deportations.

On Friday, Lo urged Tsai to prevent her party cadres from using inappropriate language to attack the head of state. When asked for comment, Tsai said DPP members should refrain from sarcasm.

On the deportations, Tsai said the crux of the problem was Ma’s vague national security strategy which has eroded sovereignty.

Tsai said the DPP has repeatedly asked the government to examine its national security strategy to no avail.

Lo yesterday said Tsai had not rebuked or restrained Gao, encouraging other party members to use such language to attack the president.

“Why doesn’t she just give him [Gao] a medal and ask other party members to follow his example?” Lo said. “Such an act is irresponsible and she should be held entirely at fault.”