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Tycoon prepared to fund recall of DPP lawmaker
Chen under fire after incident at funeral of president's mother
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-06 04:11 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Chairman Terry Gou said Tuesday he was prepared to fund an eventual recall of opposition lawmaker Chen Ou-po because of the latter’s uninvited appearance at the funeral of President Ma Ying-jeou’s mother.

The Democratic Progressive Party apologized to the president earlier for Chen’s behavior and referred him to its legislative caucus for disciplinary measures. The lawmaker defended himself by saying he had only pointed out that the funeral arrangements should have been improved for mourners who wished to come and express their sympathies for Chin Hou-hsiu, who passed away at a Taipei hospital last Friday.

Gou, one of the country’s wealthiest citizens, said at a news conference Tuesday that if the residents of Chen’s election district in Yilan County wanted to launch a recall motion against the lawmaker, he would be willing to provide them with the necessary funding.

The DPP and government officials needed to come out and take a stance while also take the necessary disciplinary measures, Gou said. The tycoon said that Chen’s “behavior was not even up to the level of animals” and said tradition and respect should take precedence over political differences. The opposition lawmaker’s behavior had broken popular traditions and customs, he added.

His appearance at Chin’s funeral and his conduct had shown a total lack of respect for the deceased and for the president, Gou said, emphasizing the fact that all people were borne by a mother and the timing of the incident shortly before Mother’s Day.

The outspoken electronics tycoon said how everyone had seen the lawmaker’s behavior through the media and added he had related his opinions to the DPP chairman.

Political leaders should immediately come out and condemn Chen’s behavior, he added, saying it was a matter of yes or no without any room for a grey middle ground.

A tolerant and stable society was the basis for national economic development, he said, rejecting walk-by protests and disturbances. Gou’s comments were thought to refer to the recent occupation of the Legislative Yuan by students and the numerous protests in its wake against the trade-in-services pact with China and against the fourth nuclear plant.

The incumbent or the next DPP chairperson needed to take a stance on the matter, while the ruling Kuomintang caucus and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng also needed to take measures, preferably today or tomorrow, Gou said.

The tycoon delivered his message at a special news conference Tuesday afternoon at his company headquarters in New Taipei City.

Critics said a wealthy business leader should not interfere with the selection of lawmakers, while a call to fund a recall might be illegal.

Former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said there was nothing wrong with the party’s handling of the incident. Chen’s later explanations showed that he bore no ill intentions toward the president’s family, she said.

The lawmaker gained prominence last month by holding a parallel hunger strike against the fourth nuclear plant with former DPP Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung. He sat at the Legislative Yuan with a shaven head but health problems forced him to give up on the fourth day. Lin maintained his fast for nine days until after the government changed its stance about the controversial nuclear power project.

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