Hung to hit campaign trail today

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Sep 06, 2015 - Page 3

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) campaign team yesterday said that Hung would return to her normal schedule today, ending the “temporary break from daily campaign activities” she announced late on Wednesday night.

Hung’s spokesperson on Thursday said that Hung would resurface on Wednesday next week “at the latest” for a campaign activity scheduled to be hosted by KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫).

However, just three days after Hung’s unexpected announcement on Facebook sparked speculation, her office announced that she is scheduled to appear at a news conference this morning entitled “insisting on walking the right path,” and that she is also scheduled to attend at least three other events today.

In her second diary-like Facebook post late on Friday night, which suggested she was in a temple, Hung said Taiwan has long been trapped in populist politics and that politicians have aimed to win the popular vote by fair means or foul.

“We talk about freedom, but overlook discipline; we speak freely about democracy, but forget about what is right and wrong. I have visited many places in these past days and there are too many silent crowds, who do not say much, but I can feel their anxiety about Taiwan’s future from how they grip my hands and look at me with warm sincerity,” she wrote. “But do I have the power to speak for them?”

Hung, as in Thursday’s diary-like post, said she had sought help from “looking at a bodhisattva [statue] with a face of benevolence” and gained “certain enlightenment.”

“Read [the sutras], pray to a bodhisattva, but also be a bodhisattva,” Hung said. “In the face of Taiwan’s populism and hypocrisy, maybe I should also be a Vajrapani [warrior-attendant to the Bhudda] that safeguards virtuous values.”

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) of the Democratic Progressive Party, who also halted presidential candidate campaign events in 2008 when he injured his leg, said it is Hung’s right to choose to go into “seclusion.”

“However, gods and buddhas might be shocked, as bodhisattvas do not participate in elections,” he said.

Even KMT spokesperson Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) mocked the post, saying, without specifically referring to Hung, “[are we going to have] a union of religion and state now?”

“Amida Buddha,” he added, referring to a Buddhist mantra.