Ho Ching (何晶), the wife of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍), on Thursday apologized to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for sharing a video on Facebook that criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Ho wrote on Facebook a day earlier about meeting a Singaporean woman whose son suffered from serious tinnitus — a loud, persistent ringing in his ear — but who recovered after receiving treatment in Taiwan.
“Taiwan was a life saver for the son,” Ho wrote. “So for this and many other ways of support, I fully applaud Taiwan.”
However, the video shared with the post did not mention the boy’s story, but was a clip from a political commentary show hosted by Chen Feng-hsin (陳鳳馨) and Tang Hsiang-lung (唐湘龍).
The image for the video was a picture of Tsai next to the words “mask diplomacy fail.”
In the video, the two commentators criticize the DPP, accusing it of overindulging Taiwanese netizens, who they thought unfairly attacked Ho for a previous post she made on Facebook.
They also said the relationship between Taiwan and Singapore had become “hopeless.”
Ho on Thursday added a postscript to her post, saying that she did not agree with some parts of the video that were “clearly biased domestic political fights.”
She asked people to “please look past the cover photo for the video,” and apologized to Tsai.
“I owe the president of Taiwan a personal apology and hope to make amends in calmer times,” she wrote.
Despite apologizing, she did not take down the video.
On April 11, Ho stoked controversy when she shared an English-language news story about Taiwan donating masks to Singapore and captioned it “Errrr...”
The comment seemed to indicate that she was not keen on the plan.
A few days later, she updated the post, saying that she was grateful for Taiwan’s donation of masks.
She also said that “mistakes” had been forgiven, which has been widely interpreted as referring to Taiwan’s ban on mask exports, which has impacted mask supply to Singapore, as the city-state has two production lines in Taiwan.
Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) has said that before the ban took effect on Jan. 24, Singaporean mask manufacturer ST Engineering was given permission by the government to send N95 masks already packed for export to Singapore.
That batch of masks cleared customs on Jan. 29, before mask production equipment owned by the company was shipped back to Singapore on Feb. 12, Su said.
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