As households nationwide gathered yesterday to celebrate Father’s Day, five-year-old Chen Chieh-hsin (陳潔歆), the granddaughter of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), expressed her hope for a family reunion in a hand-written card.
“Dear Grandpa, this is my first time to write you a card. Are you happy? People often told me how much I resemble you, but when can you finally come home for a family reunion?” Chen Chieh-hsin wrote in a card delivered to her grandfather during a visit to Taipei Prison on the eve of Father’s Day.
Chen Shui-bian is currently serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison term on corruption charges.
Accompanied by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), Chen Chieh-hsin paid a visit to the former president with her parents, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚), on Tuesday.
They also brought with them a popular Taiwanese delicacy — stewed pork knuckles — prepared by the newly opened President A-bian Hotel in Greater Kaohsiung, to satisfy the former president’s craving for local food.
The hotel, which opened on July 29 in Greater Kaohsiung’s Sanmin District (三民), was jointly founded by a group to show their support for Chen Shui-bian, who has complained about several physical ailments, including chest pains.
A variety of Taiwanese dishes are served at the hotel, with some named after the former president’s family members.
“The former president expressed great fear that he may not be able to wake up one day and has already written a final letter [to the public],” Hsu said following the visit.
Chen Shui-bian also said he had been experiencing occasional suicidal thoughts, Hsu said.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who will launch a tour to rural areas today — his first tour since he assumed the chairmanship — is scheduled to visit the former president’s mother, Chen Lee Shen (陳李慎), in Greater Tainan in the afternoon on the same day.
Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang