Sat, Nov 24, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT legislator apologizes

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Women's organization representatives bearing toilet brushes and toothpaste gather at the Legislative Yuan yesterday to demand an apology from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Chia-chin for swearing at National Youth Commission Chairwoman Cheng Li-chun.

PHOTO: LIU HSIN-TE, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進) apologized yesterday to National Youth Commission Chairwoman Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) for swearing during a question-and-answer session in the legislature's Education and Culture Committee on Thursday.

Lee told reporters that he said "something harsh" during the session because he was angry that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was unable to present sound youth policies or run an impartial commission.

"I did not target anyone specifically. I am sorry if Chairwoman Cheng felt uncomfortable about what I said," Lee said.

Lee offered the apology after criticism from the DPP.

During the session on Thursday, Lee questioned Cheng on the differences between the average salaries for college graduates in Taiwan and South Korea.

When Cheng told him that South Korean graduates earn only about one-and-a-half times what their counterparts receive in Taiwan, Lee became angry and interrupted her several times.

"It's a pity that a pretty young woman like you has learned all of the DPP's tricks. You are very disgraceful," Lee said to Cheng.

The 39-year-old chairwoman urged the lawmaker not to judge her by her appearance, but Lee ordered that Cheng be expelled from the meeting.

He then said under his breath: "I feel fucking sick when I see someone like this."

Lee's comment was audible and the question-and-answer session was also recorded by the legislature's video-on-demand system.

DPP legislators Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英), Yang Fang-wan (楊芳婉) and Wang Shu-hui (王淑慧) told reporters yesterday that the KMT caucus should refer Lee to the legislature's disciplinary committee.

Cheng's secretary, Chang Chian-wei (張倩瑋), said Cheng would not make a formal response to Lee's apology because the apology was insufficient.

Chang questioned Lee's sincerity, saying that he had continued to criticize the commission for not doing anything to promote the welfare of Taiwanese youth.

Chang said this was a "false accusation."

Additional reporting by Jimmy Chuang and Jenny W. Hsu

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