A senior official in the Taiwan Ministry of Education has outraged equality groups with a series of comments about a leading political party’s candidate for President.

Chuang Kuo-jung, secretary-general of the ministry, said that the Kuomintang party’s Presidential candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, was effeminate.

He also said that the mayor of Taipei “looked very much like a gay,” according to Central News Agency.

Ma Ying-jeou, 57, was mayor of the city from 1998 to 2006 and is one of Taiwan’s most popular politicians.

Chaung’s comments were televised across Taiwan. Women’s rights advocates complained that he was ignoring the Gender Equality Education Law initiated by his own ministry.

Taiwanese gender equality groups intend to make a formal complaint about his comments.

Gay and lesbian rights organisation Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association told CNA that, “Chuang’s deep-rooted patriarchal gender bias and his trotting out of sexual stereotypes dealt a heavy blow to front-line gender education workers and to Taiwan’s gay rights movement.”