Cabinet spokesman seeks to apologize as criticism mounts

DIGITAL TERROR::The government spokesperson compared criticism of posts he made online relating to the iPhone as akin to the White Terror

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 03, 2012 - Page 3

Embroiled in criticism for posting a picture of Apple’s new iPhone 5 on his Facebook page, Executive Yuan spokesperson Hu Yu-wei (胡幼偉) yesterday said he was “willing to apologize” after his initial defense of his behavior drew more condemnation.

However, Hu did not give a reason, saying an “apology needs no reason.”

“There are people who expressed the opinion that I need to improve myself. I will do so with a humble heart,” Hu said.

As a spokesperson, Hu said that he understood that he “was not supposed to create trouble for Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) or Cabinet agencies.”

Hu made the remarks when approached by reporters in the legislature, in an apparent departure from his previous statement that the Facebook posting was aimed at attracting the public’s attention to the Cabinet’s economic stimulus proposals and that the backlash against his behavior was reminiscent of the White Terror era.

Hu posted the picture of Apple’s newest iPhone on Saturday night along with an appeal for people “to consume more to boost the economy.”

In a reply to messages left by netizens, Hu first explained that the pictured smartphone belonged to his friend and then posted pictures showing that he used to use HTC smartphones, developed by the Taiwan-based HTC Corp.

On Monday, it appeared that Chen disapproved of Hu’s behavior as he said that a spokesperson’s duty was to elaborate on a premier’s remarks and not the other way around.

Chen downplayed the matter yesterday.

“Hu is very enthusiastic and fairly professional in mass communication,” Chen said.

“He was trying his best to convey his thoughts to the public,” he added.