Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday panned Vice President Chen Chien-jen’s (陳建仁) apology for taking a vacation while southern Taiwan was mired in floodwater after days of heavy rain, urging him to step down.
The Chinese-language United Daily News on Monday reported that Chen was on a family vacation in Kinmen from Thursday to Saturday, and that he had donned a cap and a mask while visiting several tourist sites, but was recognized due to the large entourage escorting him.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has sparked a number of controversies amid the flooding, including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday traveling in a CM-32 “Clouded Leopard” armored vehicle to survey the flooding in Chiayi County’s Budai Township (布袋) and Premier William Lai (賴清德) a day earlier saying that critics of the government’s handling of the flooding “can play god and see whether they can prevent the same amount of rain from flooding these places,” KMT caucus secretary-general William Tseng (曾銘宗) told a news conference.
Chen’s vacation on Kinmen was the most staggering of the controversies, he said.
Accusing the Tsai administration of “callousness” toward public lives being at risk, Tseng said the caucus does not accept Chen’s apology and he should resign.
A vice president going on vacation under normal circumstances will not be reprimanded, but Chen had “picked the wrong time and the wrong place,” KMT caucus vice secretary-general Ko Chin-en (柯志恩) said.
Chen did not attend the commemoration ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the 823 Artillery Bombardment on Kinmen on Wednesday last week, but went there a day later on a private trip, Ko said.
Former premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) and former Executive Yuan secretary-general Hsueh Hsiang-chuan (薛香川) resigned over the heavy casualties caused by Typhoon Morakot in 2009, Ko said, urging Chen to do the same.
Liu and Hsueh were censured by the then-opposition DPP because Liu went for a haircut and Hsueh dined with his father-in-law when Typhoon Morakot was battering the nation, but when Chen went sightseeing in Kinmen during the flood, the DPP remained silent, she said.
The DPP should not apply double standards to political appointees, and Chen should know when to quit, she said.
The KMT caucus would spare no effort to hold Chen and Lai accountable over the flooding problems and demand that the two step down, KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) added.
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