Sun, Nov 23, 2014 - Page 3 News List

2014 ELECTIONS: Fu Kun-chi sand sculpture called act of ‘brown-nosing’

By Hua Meng-ching  /  Staff reporter

People sit next to a sand sculpture of incumbent independent Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi and his wife next to the Farmers’ Association in the county’s Fuli Township yesterday. Representatives of the association say that the sculpture has been made in preparation for Lunar New Year celebrations and that it has nothing to do with Saturday’s local elections.

Photo: CNA

With only six days remaining before the Nov. 29 nine-in-one elections, some Hualien County residents said they were “disgusted” when they found a sand sculpture of Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) and his wife placed conspicuously at the venue of a local flower festival scheduled for next month, calling it an act of “brown-nosing.”

Fu, an independent seeking re-election, is currently appealing to the Supreme Court in the hopes that the judges will overturn a ruling the High Court passed down in August last year that sentenced him to three years in prison for speculative stock trading.

His wife, Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚), has also registered as a Hualien commissioner candidate, which has been widely seen as a contingency plan in case her husband is indicted prior to the election.

Earlier this month, the Fuli Township Farmer’s Association commissioned sand carving artist Yeh Kun-ting (葉坤定) to create the piece, which was nearing completion yesterday.

The artwork, made of soil dug from the fields, features caricatures of Fu and his wife sitting on top of the Taiwan Railways Administration’s Taroko Express, with Fu giving the thumbs-up gesture, prompting speculation that the piece was created to further Fu’s political aims, given the elections next week.

The sculpture, meant to promote the flower festival slated for next month, drew some criticism from passers-by.

“Isn’t that the commissioner and his wife? That’s disgusting,” one said.

“Whoever did this must be really desperate to brown-nose,” another said.

In response, Fuli Township Farmer’s Association Promotion division head Lin Hui-huang (林輝煌) said that Fu has taken the Taroko Express north many times to help market the county’s agriculture and horticulture, touting him as “local farmers’ best friend.”

The sand sculpture of Fu giving the thumbs-up sign is meant to show Fu’s solidarity with local farmers, not meant to suck up to him, he said.

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