Taiwan KMT presidential candidate caught playing mahjong despite denial

Kaohsiung mayor was playing with friends during Bali holiday

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Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (center, back toward th...

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (center, back toward th...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A picture emerged Wednesday (August 14) of Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) playing mahjong during a holiday in Bali, despite having denied he had played since taking office as mayor of Kaohsiung last December.

As the race for the January 2020 election heats up, Han has been facing a series of allegations about his private life and behavior, including his alleged love of drink and gambling.

To reject the accusations, Han recently wrote on his Facebook page that since being sworn in as mayor of Kaohsiung last December 25, he had never played mahjong and never drunk excessively, the Central News Agency reported.

However, an opposition Democratic Progressive Party member of the Kaohsiung City Council, Lin Chih-hung (林智鴻), on Wednesday posted a photo on his Facebook page of Han playing mahjong with three other people during a Lunar New Year vacation on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Lin said he had received the picture from a “netizen” who spent the evening of February 4 at the Club Med at a bar next to the table where Han and his entourage were playing.

The group, which also included KMT legislator Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華), had arrived at 11 p.m. and was still playing when the netizen left at 1 a.m., Lin said.

The DPP politician asked Han to explain whether he had “remembered wrongly” or “lied,” CNA reported.

A spokeswoman for the Kaohsiung City Government said Han had been on holiday overseas with friends and relatives and had certainly not played for money, so it did not amount to gambling.