POSITIVE ENERGY: Mayor Han Kuo-yu apologized for leading officials in chanting ‘Enrich Kaohsiung’ inside a museum, saying that he aimed to instill unity in his team
By Huang Chia-lin, Ko Yu-hao and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporters, with staff writer
Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Jie （黃捷） yesterday compared questioning Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu （韓國瑜） at the city council to calling a switchboard operator, saying that doing so would be a waste of time.
Huang, of the New Power Party, was allotted a 50-minute question-and-answer session, during which she called on various city government officials to answer questions about the city’s policies, but did not call on Han, who was at the meeting.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Huang said that she chose not to direct questions at the mayor because he had not provided specific responses to questions in previous sessions.
“With this kind of precondition, if I still asked him, I believe it would be wasting our residents’ time,” Huang said.
She said that she wanted people who “truly understand” the issues to answer her questions.
“If you know the extension number, there is no need to dial the switchboard,” Huang said.
After the meeting had ended, Han reportedly jokingly said to Kaohsiung City Councilor Lee Chiao-ju （李喬如）: “I was very lonely today.”
Outside the meeting room, reporters asked Han whether he felt like he was “benched” during Huang’s questioning session.
“No, no,” he said, shaking his head.
Separately yesterday, Han apologized for chanting: “Enrich Kaohsiung” （高雄發大財） with city officials at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, where he presided over a city government meeting on Tuesday.
A video posted on Facebook on Tuesday shows Han leading more than a dozen city officials — including deputy mayors Lee Ssu-chuan （李四川） and Yeh Kuang-shih （葉匡時） — in the chant after they had posed for photographs inside the museum.
The video also shows him saying afterward: “That felt good.”
In the comments to the post, one netizen called the behavior “low class,” while another said that it was “shameful” and that the “arrogant shouting” resembled the rude behavior of some Chinese tourists when visiting Taiwan.
Han said that he apologizes if the chanting made visitors to the museum uncomfortable, but added that he and the city officials did not stay for long.
They were at the museum to see the “Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now” exhibition, Han said.
The purpose of the chanting was to unite the officials and bring positive energy to the team as they think about the future transformation of the city’s economy, he added.
New Power Party Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Jie poses questions to city government officials in the council chamber yesterday. Photo: Huang Chia-lin, Taipei Times