By Chris Wang / Staff reporter
On Wednesday, Penghu Commissioner Wang Chien-fa (王乾發) was lambasted for a planned visit to China that critics said showed a disregard for the potential damage to lives and properties caused by Typhoon Matmo, which brought fierce winds and torrential rain to the nation, and caused 17 injuries between late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Wang’s scheduled trip to Shenzhen, in China’s Guangdong Province, was not discovered until the commissioner was found taking the first flight back to Penghu yesterday morning after a plane crash in the county killed 48 passengers and injured 10 on Wednesday night.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) cited information obtained from the Mainland Affairs Council as saying that Wang was scheduled for a six-day visit to Shenzhen commencing on Wednesday.
The commissioner left Penghu for Taiwan proper on Wednesday afternoon after presiding over a meeting about disaster prevention and relief, and was forced to call off the trip because of the plane crash. He was in Taiwan at the time of the disaster and subsequently left others to deal with the post-typhoon aftermath, the lawmaker said.
Chen posted a picture on Facebook, provided by an unidentified netizen, appearing to show people holding a banner at the Shenzhen Airport to welcome Wang at the time of his scheduled arrival yesterday morning.
“Wang has to step down over this,” Chen said.