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.