Thu, May 30, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Han says many ‘bewildering things’ have happened since he took office

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu speaks at the Kaohsiung City Council yesterday.

Photo: Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday said many “bewildering things” have happened since he took office, such as a key government document being stolen and that he might have been secretly monitored.

Since he took office on Dec. 25 last year, he has encountered many things that normally do not happen in a democratic society, Han told reporters during a recess at the Kaohsiung City Council.

For example, a former city official who played a key role in the previous administration took a government document and then returned it a while later, he said.

“How can someone take away a government document after stepping down? We will definitely look into that matter,” he said.

A photographer formerly employed by the Kaohsiung City Government had also snuck into his office five times, he said.

“He would sneak into my office once every few days and that should naturally make people wonder if he was there to change batteries,” Han said. “Was I being eavesdropped on? Is my every move being secretly monitored by hidden devices?”

That a mayor is monitored 24 hours a day purely because he belongs to a political party that is different from the previous administration should be unacceptable to Taiwanese, he said.

Although he cannot be certain about whether he was being monitored, he hopes prosecutors will investigate the situation and help put an end to such behavior, Han said.

However, Kaohsiung Information Bureau Director-General Anne Wang (王淺秋) said the government was unsure whether the document Han was referring to had been taken.

It was a contract the government had signed with LCY Chemical Corp in 2014 worth NT$2.35 billion (NT$74.4 million at the current exchange rate), Wang said.

Despite its importance, the document was never properly handed over nor filed when Han’s administration took over, she said.

After being missing for more than a month, the document was noticed in a huge pile of papers on a desk in a secretary’s office on Jan. 11, Wang said.

It could have been lost, taken away or just “hidden in the pile of documents while people thought it had been taken away,” she said.

Asked if the document had ever been filed, Wang said it was not filed until Jan. 11.

Former Kaohsiung Economic Development Bureau director-general Lee Yi-der (李怡德) said the document had never left the city hall.

Han has been deliberately looking for ways to slander the former city government team and even exaggerated what was a burglary case, making it sound like eavesdropping, he said.

Perhaps Han was trying to divert media attention from his plan to abandon the city and run for president, or to hide his own incompetence as a mayor, he added.

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office said that a man surnamed Wu (吳) was arrested in March after a reported burglary of Han’s office.

The Kaohsiung City Police Department’s Lingya Precinct said that it was a simple case of burglary and that no recording devices were found.

Additional reporting by Ke Yu-hao

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top