Sun, Sep 11, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers showcase their creative talents

BY KO SHU-LING  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng raises his brush in the vertical manner of Chinese calligraphers to display his artistic talent and training.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

When it comes to raw talent, lawmakers are not always one-trick ponies.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is one of the nation's talented legislators.

Sitting at his office desk, Wang raised his brush in the vertical manner of Chinese calligraphers and began to write. For Wang, Chinese calligraphy is more of a passion than a hobby.

The 64-year-old son of a farmer was first introduced to Chinese calligraphy when he was in the third grade at school. He soon represented his school to win the bronze medal in a county Chinese calligraphy competition.

The native son of Kaohsiung County said that he learns concentration and patience from the art of calligraphy.

In addition to calligraphy, Wang is a talented athlete.

He was a senior-high-school champion in the long jump, triple jump, shot put and tennis. He was also captain of his university's tennis team and won a bronze medal in inter-collegiate tennis competitions when he was in his senior year.

No matter how hectic or onerous things are at the legislature, Wang usually looks serene and calm. He attributes his serenity to inborn temperament.

"If you see through things, you behave with perfect composure," he said. "Coming from a big family also teaches me to be sensitive to others' feelings, tolerant, respectful to others' opinions and a team player."

His Buddhist beliefs also help him get through many difficult times in life, he said.

Wang was familiar with Buddhism from a tender age. His parents lived close by a Buddhist temple. He started to seriously study Buddhism in 1986, after he heard the call of Buddha.

"The religion inspires me to think thoroughly, clearly and to be flexible," he said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) was a high-school music teacher before venturing into the political arena 11 years ago.

The 45-year-old native of Tainan began to play piano when she was in the second grade. Her mother wanted her three daughters to learn a professional skill so they could support themselves whether they got married or not.

Yeh did get married and obtained a masters degree in music from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, but she did not stay in music circles because of her grudge against her former employer, National Tainan Normal College, where she had taught music for four years.

She was passed over in the appointment of a full-time lecturer because she was labeled by school authorities as a "problem teacher" for vocalizing her political opinions.

"I was very angry when I found out the reason they rejected my application," she said. "I told myself if they disliked my talking about politics so much, I would take it somewhere else."

She was soon recruited by the DPP to run in the 1995 provincial councilor elections, and won her seat. She then moved on to win the legislative election in 1998 and has been re-elected ever since.

She said she has never found it hard to adjust to the political life nor has she had to change herself a lot.

"I usually adopt the most simple and direct way to face the most complicated situation, simply because I am a simple and straightforward person," she said.

In addition to playing the piano, Yeh is an avid reader. Despite her busy schedule, Yeh always finds time to read and play the piano.

"It's only when I'm playing the piano that I am focused," she said.

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