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Hung is sunk further into abyss

Hung is sunk further into abyss

There is no denying that when Hung Hsiu-chu from the pan-Blue camp first entered her presidential bid, it took observers and netizens by surprise. As deputy legislative speaker, she was very much unspoken of because she wasn’t even one of Kuomintang’s heavyweights. But then again, some of Hung’s supporters might have admired her willingness to throw her hat into the ring against near-overwhelming odds, as eyes were mostly laid on KMT Chairman Eric Chu and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng at the time.

In just about a week or two after her presidential nomination, she astonished everyone by stating that she couldn't rightly say that the Republic of China actually existed.

A baffling admission, as her statement comes from one wishing to be president of that supposedly non-existent country.

Known for her outspoken personality and China-centric ideology, many of her statements didn’t go down well with the general public, let alone many of her colleagues from the light-Blue camp.

Since then, her campaign has descended into a clown show – her 15 percent approval rating testifies to that. She is even trailing behind People’s First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong in opinion poll, who was last to join the contention race. It’s a no-brainer that by now her sharp tongue – a trait which she proudly boasted by citing her nickname as “little hot pepper” – has failed to win her popular support.

Late night Wednesday (nearing midnight), rather than making the announcement through her spokesperson in a “sane, working hours” of the morning, Hung posted on her Facebook page saying she was going to take a breather to immerse herself in contemplation and reflection. Further dramatizing her situation, her following comments sounded as if she was going to kiss her candidacy “goodbye” without giving out a concrete statement as to “why, when” and “what’s going on.”

Instead, she had to get reporters and journalists all worked up by announcing a press statement through her spokesperson the next day to downplay the speculation of her quitting – a classic paparazzi move used by celebrities the world over to win back attention after having fallen from fame. The same attention-grabbing tactic was used by Hollywood star Winona Ryder with shoplifting in 2001, who later confessed in an interview with the United Kingdom’s a decade later by quoting: “shoplifting arrest was the best thing that could have happened to me.”

To put into perspective, Hung’s social media gaffe did “work wonders.” In the next three days, members from the KMT and party spokespersons had to play their part by brushing off speculations that their chilli pepper had called it quits. In short, the topic on Hung pretty much stole the headlines on every front page newspaper following the first day of her press announcement – even televised political talk shows based their discussions on her.

On the fourth day after her proclaimed seclusion, Hung announced a sudden comeback. Again, in a premeditated move, another press conference was called on Sunday to showboat her reappearance. Really? One beckons why all this media attention just for a four-day breather? Even if Hung had disappeared for a week the average public (eligible voters) wouldn’t have noticed – her main target audience who are mostly immersed in day-to-day work sweating over their duties but paid in peanuts.

Instead, Hung’s 8,000-word manifesto was not addressed to her main target audience, but rather directed at her own political counterparts. Even presidential contender Soong said he detected “no substantive changes” after Hung’s break, who claimed she was going to reflect on her past actions. According to several media outlets, officials from the Presidential Office and KMT headquarters are as baffled and perplexed by Hung’s announcement on Thursday.

During her comeback speech, the little hot pepper’s sharp tongue didn’t go without slamming her own political party for having a defeatist attitude about the January 16 election, citing on her Facebook page that she had been staying in a Buddhist monastery and had asked a bodhisattva to bestow on her “the wisdom for a peace of mind.”

No word was mentioned on proposed plans for an economic revival or improvements on people’s livelihood. Instead, she behaved like a sulking child with a sore thumb on national TV, blaming everyone else for Taiwan’s populism while calling it a “sick” place whose islanders turn from good to bad when they go into politics.

It is evident enough that Hung has sunk further into abyss, and has no idea where’s she headed to. Whether or not her motive was to seek sympathy from her political counterparts and existing supporters, it was not a way to raise public opinion.

Hung has clearly chosen to work in her own little bubble, breaking further away from the light-blue camp and from Chu, who has repeatedly called for his party members to stick together for a KMT revival.

While Democratic Progressive Party presidential contender Tsai Ing-wen continues to steer the boat singlehandedly, it would take a miracle before Hung’s opinion poll hits the roof, but unless she’s Houdini, the game has become more one-sided than ever.

Updated : 2021-09-20 20:39 GMT+08:00