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Lawmaker exemplifies 'virtues' by visiting funeral uninvited

A funeral was held yesterday for President Ma Ying-jeou's mother who recently passed away. It was made quite clear beforehand that the funeral was to be a private, low-key, family affair.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀), however, decided to pay his respects, showing up roughly an hour after the first family had left the funeral parlor.

The lawmaker was apparently taken aback that members of the first family weren't there to receive him personally and that there wasn't a guest book for him to sign, criticizing the president for a lack of courtesy.

The lawmaker reportedly said that a person shouldn't forget his manners even if he is president.

According to local reports, Chen said that apart from a portrait of the president's mother and pieces of fruit, the hall was largely empty.

Staff members of the funeral parlor, however, were apparently quick to provide a blank guest book for the lawmaker to sign before leaving.

When news of the lawmaker's actions broke, DPP headquarters condemned Chen, saying that the lawmaker's actions were “extremely inappropriate.”

In response, the lawmaker said that his party had handled the situation rashly, adding, however, that he will choose to “forgive” his party regardless of the harm done to his name.

Chen explained that his remarks were distorted by one or two local media outlets, and that his remarks were intended as a “gentle suggestion” for the sake of “improving” the funeral service.

There should've been a reception at the funeral parlor and there should have been a guest book for people to sign, Chen stressed, emphasizing his surprise over the “lack of arrangements.”

With regard to possible disciplinary measures to be taken against him by his caucus, Chen said, “I am very fond of the saying: 'The wise are insistent, the brave are fearless.' So I will remain composed.”

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