Taichung residents are worried about the apparent disappearance of their mayor, Jason Hu. Hu has been notably absent from duty for some time, and no one seems to be too sure about when he stopped showing up for work.
“It’s not like he was doing much, so we didn’t notice he wasn’t around for at least a week”, said a Ms Lin of Taichung city council’s human resources department.
When pressed for his whereabouts, several different stories were presented which ranged from his having missed a foreign posting so much that he’d run off to the USA, was enjoying a long round of golf, had been abducted by aliens, was still in the toilet, or out to lunch. The cleaning lady insisted he was actually brain-dead after a stroke. Predictably, Taichung police had no idea of his whereabouts, his disappearance, or what day of the week it was. They did however threaten to close down every disco in Taichung for a few days to show they were serious about the matter, but stopped short of a promise to crack down on organized crime or do anythng about the rising number of shootings and gang-related deaths in Taiwan’s third-largest city.
Mayor Hu in fact seems to have been largely invisible since his election, after campaigning on promises to turn Taichung into a major international trading port, cultural center and regional financial hub. There have been rumors that Hu wasn’t even in the country during the campaign, having a stand-in do the rounds. Angry voter Chen Su-hui (47 year-old mother of 13) protested “If we knew he wasn’t really interested in the job, we would have voted for Micheal Tsai”
Taichung City Hall refused to comment and Taichung police headquarters refused to file a missing persons report, further sparking fears that Hu had been abducted or worse. The fact that Hu’s victory in Taichung was not even mentioned during the Taipei or Kaohsiung mayoral races raises speculation that he has fallen from grace in the KMT and been sidelined.