Foxconn's Gou to 'follow order of sea goddess' in Taiwan vote; yet to declare presidential run

Foxconn's Gou to 'follow order of sea goddess' in Taiwan vote; yet to declare presidential run

Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, prays at a temple, in New Taipei City
Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, prays at a temple, in New Taipei City, Taiwan April 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

TAIPEI: Terry Gou, chairman of Apple supplier Foxconn, said on Wednesday (Apr 17) he "will follow the instruction" of a sea goddess who has told him to run in Taiwan's presidential election next year.

The billionaire was speaking as over 100 people crowded into Ci Hui temple in Banqiao, New Taipei City. The temple is devoted to the sea goddess Mazu, a popular figure in Taiwan that governs everything from safety to fortune.

Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, attends an event that marks the 40th anniversary of the
Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, attends an event that marks the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, in Taipei, Taiwan April 16, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

Drums and gongs sounded as Gou, wearing a red jacket bearing the temple's name and a cap with Taiwan's flag, arrived amid chaotic scenes, and gave flowers and paper offerings to Mazu.

"I'm here today, back to where I was born, where I grew up, Gou said, adding that Mazu told him in his dreams two days ago to "come forward".

"Mazu said to me, 'you should ... do good things for our suffering people, give hope to the youth, contribute to cross-strait peace'," said Gou, Taiwan's richest person with a net worth of US$7.6 billion according to Forbes.

He then pledged to "follow the instruction of Mazu."

Gou added he had not yet formally declared his intention to run in the election, scheduled for January.

Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, prays at a temple, in New Taipei City
Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, prays at a temple, in New Taipei City, Taiwan April 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

The opposition, China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) party said Gou was due to visit its office on Wednesday and that Chairman Wu Den-yih would present him with a certificate to show he is an honorary party member.

Gou's overtures come at a delicate time for cross-strait relations, while the ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), struggling in opinion polls, smarts from a local election defeat at the end of last year.

Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, is surrounded by media after praying at a temple, in Ne
Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, is surrounded by media after praying at a temple, in New Taipei City, Taiwan April 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

China-Taiwan relations have deteriorated since President Tsai Ing-wen, of the DPP, assumed power in 2016.

Tension escalated again on Monday, as Chinese bombers and warships conducted drills around the island, prompting Taiwan to scramble jets and ships to monitor Chinese forces.

The KMT, which ruled China before fleeing to Taiwan at the end of a civil war in 1949, said in February it could sign a peace treaty with Beijing if it won the election.

"Without peace there's no security ... Without the economy there's no future. We need to think about the future for the youth," Gou said at an event on Tuesday.

Source: Reuters

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