Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Tu upsets KMT official by closing eyes in legislature

`NOT A STATUE' With cameras focused on him during a legislative meeting yesterday, the education minister `closed his eyes' while the premier briefed lawmakers

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) was in the spotlight again yesterday at the legislature after cameras caught him "closing his eyes" and "picking his nose" as the premier briefed the legislature.

Tu, a favorite target for criticism from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), also made headlines last week after opposition lawmakers accused him of falling asleep during a emergency disaster briefing about Typhoon Krosa on Saturday.

Tu later said that he had only "closed his eyes and was taking a break," adding that he had not missed anything.

With the cameras focused on him again yesterday, he closed his eyes during the legislative meeting while Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) briefed lawmakers.

KMT caucus whip Justin Chou (周守訓) criticized Tu for closing his eyes during the meeting, which Tu called unfair.

"I am not a statue for God's sake," Tu said. "How is it possible to sit there without moving for three hours?"

During a recess, Tu left the building with cameras and reporters surrounding him, asking about whether he had not been paying attention during the legislative meeting.

Tu declined to comment.

One of his security guards pushed a photographer, who fell over, slightly injuring his right arm.

"If my security guard hurt that photographer, I will be more than happy to apologize," Tu later told reporters.

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