TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese entertainer Hsiu Hai-ling (熊海靈) is crying foul over a proposed fine for her referring to Kuomintang presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu as "President Han" at a flag-raising ceremony on National Day (Oct. 10).
Hsiu, a singer whose fame peaked in the 1980s, served as the host of a flag-raising event held by the Kaohsiung City Government to mark National Day. During the event, Hsiu shouted, "Hello President!" and "President Han, add oil!" drawing criticism from many members of the public.
In response to the criticism, Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau Director Chiu Chun-lung (邱俊龍) told reporters Thursday that because Hsiu was hired by the city to host the event, her remarks "violated administrative neutrality," reported CNA. Chiu said that she should have abided by government regulations and will now be subject to fines for her biased comments.
Chiu said that after collecting relevant information and images, the city government will ask the Department of Civil Service Ethics to discuss the pertinent provisions of her contract and implement penalties in accordance with its terms. He went on to say that if the contract provisions are vague, he will recommend "lowering the agreed-upon payment [for her services]" or "deducting [from her pay] for violating the contract," according to the report.
Hsiu at venue on Oct. 10. (Photo from Hisu's Facebook page)
Chiu stressed that the language used during the flag-raising ceremony should be relevant to the National Day celebrations and that talk of the election is not appropriate at such an event. Regarding a musical performance on Oct. 9 in which singers spoke in support of Han, he said that because it was a privately organized event, it did not violate city government regulations.
In response, Hsiu told reporters that tens of thousands of people that day had shouted, "Hello President" (after her prompting). Hsiu then decried the proposed penalties as "green terror facing Taiwan," reported Storm Media.
Hsiu claimed that if Tsai was onstage during a National Day event and someone shouted "president," they would not be punished, according to the report. She said she currently resides in Hawaii and claimed many overseas compatriots were angry when they heard about the penalty and that it made them want to return to Taiwan to vote.
The meme below mocks Hsiu for calling the impending penalty the "green terror." Mayor Han has admitted that it is his city's government that will be meting out the punishment.
(Image from Facebook page @nokmtisgood)