Taiwan's new rep to Singapore cancels flight amid drink driving row

TAIPEI - Taiwan's new representative to Singapore, Mr Antonio Chiang, cancelled his Saturday afternoon (Aug 6) flight to the Republic, reported Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA).

He was scheduled to leave so he could take up his post and attend Singapore's National Day on Aug 9, reports from Taiwan said.

But Mr Chiang's booking on a China Airlines flight, along with those of two of his family members, was cancelled, airline staff said.

CNA said that it is not clear if Mr Chiang would take a later flight, or if the cancellation is related to calls for him to be replaced after he admitted to drink driving on Thursday (Aug 4).

Mr Chiang was stopped by police in Taipei's Binjiang Street after having dinner with friends on Tuesday and was found to have a blood alcohol content of almost double the legal limit. He was subsequently arrested and referred to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, then released after questioning.

Earlier that day, he had been sworn in by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen as her government's top envoy to Singapore.

Mr Chiang has apologised, saying that one should never drive after drinking alcohol.

Despite that, a civic group against drink driving organised a protest in Taichung on Saturday, calling him to resign from his post.