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June 29, 2017

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DPP reprimands lawmaker over remarks

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday apologized for Legislator Chen Ou-po's (陳歐珀) tactless remarks made at the cremation of President Ma Ying-jeou's mother and stated that its caucus will be dealing with Chen's punishment.

Chin Hou-hsiu (秦厚修), 93, passed away last Friday due to multiple organ failure. The president's family decided against a public memorial service, opting for simplicity. The first family also said that all visits and gifts would be declined. A private funeral service was subsequently held at the Taipei Second Funeral Parlor, yesterday.

First lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) was seen in a wheelchair as she had injured her right leg in a fall several days ago.

Despite the first family's wishes, Chen showed up at the funeral parlor and reportedly expressed annoyance over the "lack of arrangements."

"Even as the president, (Ma) should understand etiquette," said Chen, adding that the Ma family was not present to express thanks to guests.

The first family had departed an hour before Chen's arrival.

Apparently fearing that Chen would disrupt other families awaiting cremation of their deceased family members, the staff of the funeral parlor provided Chen with a blank signature book while an official of the Presidential Office tried to communicate with Chen.

According to local reports, the National Security Bureau (NSB) was notified of Chen's visit and that NSB Director-General Tsai De-sheng (蔡得勝) was present at the funeral service to ensure smooth proceedings.

DPP Reprimands Chen

DPP spokesman Chang Chun-han (張惇涵) said that the opposition party has reprimanded Chen for his inappropriate actions, adding that the DPP caucus will be left to decide Chen's punishment.

The party has extended a sincere apology to the president and his family, the spokesman said.

According to Chang, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) expressed his condolences via DPP Secretary General Lin Xi-yao (林錫耀), while former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also expressed sorrow over Ma's loss.

Chen issued a statement later, saying that he had simply "suggested gently" that the first family send off Chin in style, as he only saw a simple portrait of her and some fruit at the funeral parlor.

The Ma family later brought Chin's ashes to the Fude Memorial Tower (台北市福德靈骨樓).

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