Saturday, March 18, 2006

Taiwaner of the Week

DPP legislator Tu Wen-Ching is my Taiwaner of the Week. This guy exudes class and maturity and won't hesitate to use his political power to belittle and embarass those that cross him. I should be afraid of some kind of serious reprisal for writing this but not very many people read this blog.

The story started in December when Tu Wen-Ching:

shouted filthy words at the Customs officer, Lin Chiu-tung (林秋東), on Dec. 19 at the Customs desk in CKS airport, after Lin had seized 20 boxes of cigarettes -- said to be worth a mere NT$3,000 (US$92.46) -- from Tu when he and his friends had returned to Taiwan.

Either this guy takes his cigarette smuggling seriously or he was just having a nicotine fit. Later on in the article it states that Tu is a non-smoker and was just heping his friends. I am a smoker and think cigarettes are ridiculously inexpensive in Taiwan. I don't normally buy duty free smokes because a pack of Marlboro Lights is only 55 NT$ or about $1.70 US. But Tu Wen-Ching is the kind of guy who helps his friends anyway he can.

Tu Wen-Ching couldn't leave well enough alone. Verbally abusing a customs officer at the airport wasn't enough. He used his political position to exact revenge. It appears that Tu got his buddy, DPP Legislator Yu Cheng-tao (余政道) , to make Lin attend a Finance Committee meeting. At the meeting he publicly humiliated the customs officer again.

Tu used a hearing on Customs to work himself into a paroxysm of juvenile rage -- complete with props -- and attacked the hapless Lin.

"Do you know who I am now? Did I bring any cigarettes? Did I bring any cigarettes in this handbag? Did I?" shouted Tu during the commitee meeting, gesticulating at a bag he asserted was the same he had had when he entered Taiwan on Dec. 19. Yelling at Lin incessantly, Tu pulled items -- including a pair of underpants -- out of the bag and waved them around in the air.

After this frenetic display, Tu -- who said he was a non-smoker -- said he had never shouted abuse at Lin, adding that the cigarettes didn't belong to him, but to his friends.

Do you know who I am now? Well, yes I do Mr. Tu, you are an asshole. The kind of petty asshole that gives the DPP and Taiwanese politicians in general a bad name. I was happy to hear that DPPChairman Yu Shyi-kun called for his party's caucus to discipline Legislator Tu Wen-ching. One problem in Taiwan is that many officials turn a blind eye to infractions like this prefferring to look the other way. Lin decided to adhere to the law and he gets publicly humiliated. The interesting thing is that apparently all he did was send Tu to another line for further examination.

Lin was visibly frightened by the legislator's vicious tantrum, and said he didn't see if Tu had cigarettes at the time. He said that he had merely directed Tu to a different counter to deal with the issue. He closed his remarks by saying "may god bless you" to the lawmaker.

If this wasn't sad enough, five other DPP legislators joined in, supporting Tu and taking turns blasting Yu, Lin and the Customs office as a whole. Don't these legislators have better things to do, like maybe trying to pass legislation.

Update: ESWN has some pictures and commentary on this case.


SamYeh said...

I have only been visiting your blogg for about 2 weeks and may I just say "Wow"! There may not be many readers but I'm certainly impressed and happy to be one of the few. I admire your guts to stand for what you believe in, although I'm a Taiwanese, and a female. I'm saying this 'cause I read a abuse commend on the Chiu Yi article and also that they say girls don't care about politics. I like your point of view and mostly how interestingly you put it. People should care about what's right, and nationality and gender just don't matter. And yeah I think US is an invader. Anyway, good work! Silent readers like me might be more than you could imagine. Somewhere in the dark we are, supporting you.

BigEll said...

Wow, thanks Sam. I really appreciate the kind words.

Sean Reilly said...

Slowly but surely support for the N.E.O. mounts, gathering steam and approaching an unstoppable crescendo...

"...and gentlemen in {Taipei,} now abed, shall think themselves accursed they were not here and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us..."

Okay, I'm not really sure what crescendo is...

Anonymous said...

You said you lived around the corner from me. Sunday I'm hiking in Ta-ken with some other local Big Noses. Drop me an email if you want to join the crowd.

turtonm -A-

Karl said...

Which trail are you hiking Sunday Michael?

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