TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Itinerant Kaohsiung mayor and full-time Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Monday (Sept. 9) apologized for cutting off former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) speech, and claimed that he had waited outside for an hour.
During a massive rally of “Han fans” in New Taipei on Sunday (Sept. 8), Han burst onto the stage earlier than expected in the middle of Ma's introductory remarks, which had already been delayed for unknown reasons. Han’s sudden appearance excited the crowd, forcing Ma from the microphone and off of the stage, as Ma declared "I haven’t finished yet." A representative from Ma’s office called the situation “Very regrettable,” reports LTN.
In response to the gaffe, Han on Monday said that he had called Ma that morning and offered an apology, reported TVBS. He praised Ma's leadership of the country and said that he was a leader who was very knowledgeable and broad-minded.
Han said that the rally was his first since he became the presidential candidate for the KMT, and there was a large number of enthusiastic participants. He claimed that the situation led to some adjustments in the timing of the speeches, especially for Ma, who waited for an hour, and "I again apologize for this," according to the report.
Han then claimed that he too had waited outside for an hour. He said that when he received the cue that he could start speaking, he set out on his own.
Han said that he had not expected that after Ma had also waited for an hour that he would still be speaking by the time he hit the stage. He said that based on this experience, he would ask organizers to pay more attention to the whole schedule at future rallies, and he does not wish similar situations to occur again.
Senior Taiwanese media commentator Tang Hsiang-long (唐湘龍) believes that if Han wants to win the general election, then it is not enough to rely on "Han fans" alone, reported TVBS. He said that Han fans are impolite and have become "Han's fatal wound."