Wed, Jan 04, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Lin accuses `smoky' Ker of violating his rights

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

A legislative assistant yesterday accused a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator of violating his rights as a non-smoker.

Lin You-chih (林優智), assistant to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tsao Shou-min (曹壽民), sent a letter to the editor of the China Times complaining about DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).

"While I have to attend many cross-party negotiations, a leading caucus whip of the ruling party surnamed Ker totally neglects the right of other attendants, including those of pregnant women, and persists in smoking in a small, confined room," Lin wrote in the letter published in yesterday's newspaper.

Lin said that although the legislative committee recently approved the preliminary review of the legal revisions to the Tobacco Hazard Control Act (菸害防治法), which would ban smoking in public areas, Ker, a lawmaker, continues to set a very bad example for the public.

"Please control yourself a little bit, big caucus whip Ker," Lin said in his letter.

Ker reacted in a hostile manner when contacted for comment by the media, hanging up on a reporter twice.

When Ker was questioned again yesterday afternoon, he did not seem repentant.

Ker, who doubles as the director of the DPP's policy committee, said that smoking has become a common practice during inter-party meetings and that he will abide by the letter of the law.

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