Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday shrugged off netizens mocking him over a story he told during Sunday’s televised debate about an elderly woman who prompted him to run for the presidency.
“I would like to thank everyone for their concern. I met an elderly woman during a visit to a local temple. Not only her, but many others have also encouraged me to take care of Taiwan, which is why I will do my best to work for the nation,” Chu said.
Chu made the remarks during a visit to Taitung County, in response to media queries on the growing public curiosity about the identity of the woman who Chu said he met during a trip to New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水).
Chu on Sunday said that the woman told him “the gods will not forgive you if you do not run for president,” when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) questioned his integrity, citing his promise to serve out his term as New Taipei City mayor and not vie for the top office.
Chu’s comments quickly triggered an outpouring of ridicule on the Internet, with netizens saying that they doubt the existence of the woman.
One netizen said that that they were amazed by Chu’s willingness to abandon the entire population of New Taipei City for a single person, in a message they posted on the Professional Technology Temple (PTT), the nation’s largest academic online bulletin board.
“Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) would have never imagined it was an elderly lady that prompted the rescission of her nomination as the KMT’s presidential candidate,” one netizen said.
A Facebook page titled “Tamsui Grandma” was set up on Sunday afternoon, featuring a logo with the slogan, “One Grandma: Grandma is Strength” — a modification of Chu’s campaign slogan: “One Taiwan: Taiwan is Strength.”
The page had attracted nearly 12,000 followers as of press time yesterday.
A Facebook page, called “Taiwan Fugue,” launched a “self-help sticker campaign” providing elderly women who worry about being mistaken as the reason behind Chu’s candidacy with stickers reading: “I did not ask Eric Chu to run for president.”
A cartoonist, who goes by the pseudonym Tsai Chao (菜朝), published a cartoon on Facebook yesterday featuring himself trying to persuade his wife to listen to him and wash their children’s clothes by telling her the order came from “Tamsui Grandma,” only to be punched in the face by his wife.
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