By: Chi-hao James Lo
TAIPEI: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei Councilor Wang Shih-chien yesterday held a press conference to apologize for his rekindled extramarital affair, exposed by local Chinese-language tabloid Next Magazine.
On Aug. 20, Wang was caught on camera by the tabloid leaving the Taipei City Council at 6 p.m. to pick up his former assistant, surnamed Ho, with whom he was previously involved in an extramarital affair eight years ago.
Wang and Ho checked into the same motel in Luzhou District where the couple had been photographed 8 years before. They stayed there for three hours before Wang returned Ho to her father’s office.
Reportedly, Ho’s father is Chief Ho Ying-hui of Penglai Borough in Datong District, Wang’s constituency. When Wang initially denied having an affair eight years ago, with his wife at his side, he stated that he had been friends with the Ho family for a long time. Wang’s wife was noted then to have been both supportive and forgiving of his affair.
Following the affair on Aug. 20, Wang initially refused to comment when interviewed by local media by telephone. During a 3 minute press conference earlier yesterday, however, Wang apologized to his wife, family and the general public for his actions.
The city councilman also stated that he will cease all “voluntary” campaigning activities effective immediately. However, as he had already registered for re-election as Taipei City councilman on Tuesday, he will not back down from the election, and he will let his future be decided by the voters in his constituency. Wang concluded his public appearance by stating that he personally feels it ought to be the government under this kind of media scrutiny.
Though Wang has stated that he will not conduct “voluntary” campaigns, experts have stated that Wang’s campaign team is experienced in executing organizational tactics. Wang has never used his image to win an election, so he is not likely to lose this one. Experts also said that though Wang will lose votes from the female demographic, his support from local executives has made him one of the highest voted for politicians in the past.
Borough Chief Bombarded by Local Media
Penglai Borough Chief HoYing-hui, the father of Wang’s former assistant became the center of local media attention yesterday after Ho and Wang hid from the public eye.
Ho Ying-hui requested to be left alone by the media as he honestly cannot answer reporters’ questions since his daughter is an adult. Ho said that he has no control over his daughter, who has become a part-time nurse after her brief stint of media attention.
When asked whether he would support Wang during his reelection, Ho stated that he serves the borough. Borough chiefs are only allowed to cast one vote just like anyone else, Ho said, and he is not in a position to influence how they vote.