Another "explicit" admirer of Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) made himself public yesterday, this time via a large sign saying "I love you" placed alongside the highway near Changhua in central Taiwan.
The admirer, Tony Chen, who is an English teacher at a cram school, said the move was absolutely not a momentary impulse, adding that he has planned it for a long time as a gift to Lu for the upcoming Valentine's Day.
The billboard shows a photo Chen took with Lu and the words: "Vice President Lu Shiu-lian, I Love You. Confession from Famous English Teacher Tony Chen. Happy Valentine's Day!"
The "I love you" sign will stand for one year at cost of NT$1.028 million, including location rent, fees to have the sign made, the electricity bill and building costs, according to Chen.
Chen denied putting up the highway sign to gain personal publicity, saying that "I don't need to publicize myself as I'm already a popular cram school English teacher, a well known writer and a scholar with two master's degrees from the United States who has more than 100 lecture chairs a year."
He stressed that the sign is only an expression of his admiration for the vice president, whom he said he has long been attracted to for her "compassion for people, congeniality, courage, political perceptiveness and global vision."
Noting that a roadside sign is the "most direct" way of showing his love for Lu, Chen said that he wants the entire country to see his expression of love and that he hopes the vice president will give him a kind response.
If possible, Chen said, he would be pleased to help the vice president to fulfill one of her wishes of seeing the English level of the people of Taiwan further upgraded.
Some people have expressed concern that the sign might be viewed as illegal and therefore removed. Chen responded by arguing that if that is the case, all the billboards along the Sun Yat-sen Freeway should also be removed.
A previous admirer of Lu, a man who runs a Taipei debt collection agency tried to take 999 roses to her at the Presidential Office last year.
Tung Nien-tai (董念台) tried to bring Lu the roses to court her, but the move caused a commotion in front of the Presidential Office and Tung and his roses were barred by police from entering the premises.
The flowers were not acknowledged by Lu's office and Lu did not respond to Tung's courtship.
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