TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has drawn harsh criticisms for kissing a baby girl's forehead without her mother's permission Sunday (Dec. 22) at the 2019 Baby Crawling Competition (寶寶爬行賽).
While attending the New Taipei City event with KMT legislative candidate Huang Kuei-lan (黃桂蘭), Han held one of the winning infants for photograph, causing her to burst out crying. He kissed the infant's forehead twice before handing her back to her mother.
Han's behavior soon raised concerns among Taiwanese netizens, including Tan Che-kim (陳志金), an intensive care unit physician at Chi Mei Foundation Medical Center, who bashed Han for not respecting the baby or her parents. Tan added that politicians should neither use infants to improve their image nor engage in direct physical contact with newborns, reported ET today.
A Facebook user who claimed to be a friend of the infant's mother said Monday (Dec. 23) that the organizers of the contest had failed to inform participants about Han's attendance and that the infant's mother was shocked and upset about Han's kissing her daughter without consent.
Attendees provided photos proving that the infant had been forcefully taken from the mother before she could protest, reported Yahoo News.
Anne Wang (王淺秋), the spokeswoman for Han's campaign headquarters, told the media that Han was also a victim since the infant had been handed to him by event staff and that the infant's mother did not actually recognize the netizen who claimed to be her friend. She stressed that Han had no ill intentions and that he would be more cautious when approaching younger children in the future, reported SET.
On Monday afternoon, the infant's father issued a written statement to the media, emphasizing that the incident was exaggerated and that the baby cried because she was not accustomed to being held by strangers. He blamed Tan for sharing his baby girl's pictures on social media and said that he would press charges against him, reported UDN.
Han holds baby for photograph at 2019 Baby Crawling Competition. (Facebook photo)