Independent Taipei mayoral candidate and physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday spoke regarding remarks he made in the past two days that drew fire from politicians across party lines, accusing him of discriminating against women.
“I should change the way I talk as my identity changes — I think I am still having a hard time transforming myself from a doctor to a politician — I am not making the change well enough,” Ko said during a campaign activity. “If what I said makes people uncomfortable, I should improve myself and apologize.”
“I would never discriminate against women. I used to work at the intensive care unit and 99 percent of my colleagues were female nurses, so women are important to me. But I am a poor speaker, I should work to improve that,” he added.
Ko was responding to accusations that he has sexist attitudes.
On Saturday, when taking part in a campaign activity for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chiayi mayoral candidate Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲), he said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chiayi nominee Chen Yi-chen (陳以真) is incapable of handling a mayor’s role, adding that, since Chen is “young and beautiful,” she would be better off as a receptionist or appearing in a tourism advertisement.
On Sunday, when speaking to students at National Yang Ming University about choosing to work as a surgeon, he said that he eliminated departments he did not like when starting at National Taiwan University Hospital.
He eliminated the obstetrics and gynecology department because he said working there would mean that he would have “only one hole” to deal with, adding “I would have to make a living between women’s legs, so, just forget about it.”
Ko’s remarks fueled protests from female politicians from the KMT and the DPP.
“Ko should face up to his problem, especially when he is making people uncomfortable. He should apologize,” DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said.
DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said that she discussed Ko’s comments with women’s rights advocate Liu Yu-hsiu (劉毓秀) and they recommend that Ko read Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, adding that they hope “he would use his ability to learn quickly to understand the true meaning of gender equality.”
KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) said he could not believe Ko’s comments.
Lien’s campaign spokesperson Yu Shu-hui (游淑惠) said she did not think Ko’s comments were sincere.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
Taiwanese who have recently traveled to China for tourism, to visit friends or relatives or for business reasons have been interrogated, detained and faced other forms of unreasonable treatment from Chinese officials, a source said on Sunday. Among them was a Taiwanese who was detained for eight hours at an airport in China due to their research, which is related to religion, while others have had their travel documents for China canceled for a number of reasons, the source said. In July, China expanded the scope of its counterespionage law, and recently announced a draft amendment to the law on the protection