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Han Kuo-yu sows confusion with planned trade visit to Malaysia

Kaohsiung mayor plans to meet Malaysian Minister of Agriculture, but the Ministry says no meeting has been planned

File photo: Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu

File photo: Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Mayor of Kaohsiung, Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), is sowing confusion after an announcement that he is planning trade visits with officials in Malaysia and Singapore later this month.

UDN reported on Monday, Feb. 11, that Han is planning a make a trip to the two countries between Feb. 24-27. His itinerary says he will meet with the Malaysian Minister of Agriculture, and the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur during his time in Malaysia.

However, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Sim Tze Zin (沈志勤), said on Tuesday, Feb. 12, that the Ministry has not scheduled any meeting with Han, and that neither he nor the Minster have received official notice of any upcoming visit, according to Liberty Times.

Sim says that while the mayor may be planning a trip to the country, Han must follow proper protocol if he hopes to arrange for a visit with any ministerial official. That means that, an official letter requesting an audience must be sent from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office to the appropriate government offices before any meeting can be approved to take place.

Han's itinerary also includes a dinner meeting with the Malaysia-Taiwan Economic and Trade Association (MTTFA) on Feb. 24, however the General Secretary for the MTTFA, Hsu Ren-chuan (徐忍川), likewise said he had no knowledge of any event with Han planned for Feb. 24, reports Liberty Times.

On Feb. 12, UDN released a report speculating that a preliminary itinerary for his Han’s February trip may have been leaked to the press before approval, suggesting that the meetings planned with officials abroad were only speculative, and had not yet been finalized.

According to the Kaohsiung City Government, Han’s trip to Malaysia and Singapore will help to expand the international market for Kaohsiung’s agricultural and fishery products.