Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a city council session yesterday apologized for taking three months off last year to campaign for January’s presidential election.
Han said that he was now prioritizing municipal affairs and was focused primarily on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
He was “doing two days’ work each day” to make up for time lost, he said.
Photo: Lee Hui-chou, Taipei Times
Han on May 5 attended a city council session for the first time in 201 days, giving a report on pandemic response measures.
At yesterday’s session, Han said the Kaohsiung City Government would be injecting NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) into the city’s economy to revitalize it, and that a cross-departmental team had been formed to handle the city’s response measures.
The city government would also tap into natural disaster reserve funds to procure supplies, he said.
Separately, Han listed his achievements, saying that since he took office the city’s agricultural exports had increased, tourism to the city was up, and progress had been made on tackling water and air pollution.
There were also improvements to English-language education and meal subsidies for children from disadvantaged families, he said.
The city government was now aiming to improve the economy, move forward with construction projects and connect Kaohsiung with the international community, he said.
With regards to the economy, Han reiterated his proposed “Love Ferris wheel” and shopping mall project, and said that it was “regrettable” that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which controls the site proposed for the project, had not yet given its approval.
The city government also plans to offer bursaries of NT$20,000 each to 100 outstanding Kaohsiung college students each year to help them study abroad, he said, adding that the names of the selected students would be announced in September.
Han said that he was “very sorry” for taking three months off while campaigning last year, but that he and the city government had been making up for it by working hard over the past three months so that residents could “live in peace and work happily.”
In response, Wecare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) called Han’s apology “crocodile tears,” and urged city residents not to “be tricked again.”
Separately, in a statement issued yesterday the Taiwan Statebuilding Party said that while Han “apologized for taking leave,” he was “not apologizing to the city’s residents.”
The motivation for the apology was that Han had seen the results of a public survey, which found that residents were upset about Han taking leave from his duties to campaign, and that 45 percent of residents were in favor of a recall, the party said.
Han apologized in an attempt to avoid the recall, it added.
Meanwhile, former Chinese Nationalist Party chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said he believed the city’s residents would give Han another chance as long as “he worked hard on fighting the spread of COVID-19 and revitalizing the economy.”
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