TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday said that all unmarried individuals above the age of 30 are threats to national security.
Ko's comment was a correction to his previously criticised public statement, in which he claimed that all unmarried women above the age of 30 are threats to national security.
The mayor made the controversial remark in a public appearance last week. During his speech, Ko was quoted as saying that he did not believe that a country is stable when marriage rates are low.
A country is prone to national instability should over 30 per cent of its above 30 female demographic remain unmarried, Ko said. He went on to say that such instability could eventually lead to problems of national security.
Citing his past experience working as a doctor at National Taiwan University Hospital, the mayor said he had came across multiple incidences where women above 30 years of age could not find another family member to co-sign a surgery agreement.
Based on that, the future of the nation's social welfare is at risk, Ko said.
The statement was met with widespread criticism, with a number of female critics saying that the mayor's remarks were sexist.
Ko clarified his comments yesterday, stating that he had also meant to include the male demographic.
Ko also elaborated on the reasoning behind his point of view, saying that, speaking as a member of the Taiwanese medical society, a family is an important element of the country's social well-being.
Though men are also included in the problem, Ko sais that the unmarried male population is low enough to be dealt with as individual cases in the future, which is not the case for women.