Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that people should “just laugh it off and not be so sensitive,” when responding to reports that his close aide Taipei City Government adviser Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如) impugned President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on social media.
Screenshots were posted to the Professional Technology Temple (PTT) online bulletin board on Sunday, showing that Tsai Pi-ju shared a link to an article titled “Tsai Ing-wen’s missing thesis was not submitted says university library” with the caption “International news! National humiliation!” on a closed Line group chat with 216 members.
The post also read: “The end of the article says the president has no PhD degree, but a person without morality shouldn’t be a leader. It’s a national humiliation, please repost!”
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Another member of the group replied, asking her to remove the link, the screenshots showed.
Tsai Pi-ju on Sunday afternoon said that she did not mean to criticize Tsai Ing-wen’s doctoral dissertation and was only trying to “warn” the group members that such information was circulating online, but it has led to the “1450” criticizing her on PTT.
The term “1450” has been used by some people and Ko to sarcastically refer to those who have criticized them online as people who have been paid by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to disparage them.
“The 1450s do not have to be so sensitive,” she said.
Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday said that the Presidential Office has clarified the issue several times, so she urges people to stop spreading erroneous rumors.
Officials have sent Tsai Pi-ju the correct information, she added.
Ko yesterday said that Tsai Pi-ju only reposted a message in the group chat and it became a newspaper headline.
People should not take everything so seriously and argue over it, or else they will go crazy, he said.
Ko said everyone was making a fuss over a trivial matter, and that many similar messages are spread through online messaging, so people should just “just laugh it off and not be so sensitive, that’s all.”
Presidential Office spokesman Sydney Lin (林鶴明) yesterday wrote on his Facebook page that when the DPP was helping Ko face accusations over the National Taiwan University Hospital’s MG149 bank account in 2014, when he was running for Taipei mayor, nobody at the time could “just laugh it off.”
Ko was so angry that he had tears in his eyes when he said that he was being smeared by then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾), Lin wrote, adding that he and those who helped Ko could not laugh at all at the time.
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