Smackdown in the legislature over infrastructure plan

KMT legislator Hsu Shu-hua slaps DPP counterpart Chiu Yi-ying in the face

KMT Legislator Hsu Shu-hua slaps DPP legislator Chiu Yi-ying in the face during scuffle over infrastructure budget.

KMT Legislator Hsu Shu-hua slaps DPP legislator Chiu Yi-ying in the face during scuffle over infrastructure budget. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- What was meant to be a briefing of the legislators on the budget for the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program (前瞻基礎建設計畫) by Premier Lin Chuan (林全), turned into a brawl, with two female legislators from rival parties skirmishing with each other.

Before Lin Chuan was able to speak, Kuomingtang (KMT) legislators swarmed the podium to protest the budget, ultimately leading to a brawl between KMT and Democratic Progressive Party legislators (DPP), during which (KMT) Legislator Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) slapped DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) in the face.

What had started as a routine series of speeches by legislators during morning discussion proceedings, suddenly took a turn for the worse when KMT secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) gave his colleagues a cue and KMT legislators mobbed the podium where Lin Chuan was to speak and began to wave placards, sound off air horns, and blow whistles to protest the infrastructure program's budget of NT$420 billion (US$13.82 billion).

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) tried unsuccessfully to convince the KMT legislators to abide by procedural rules and said that the microphone could not be brought to the floor.

Chiu then approached the KMT legislators and tried to grab the microphone that KMT caucus vice secretary-general Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) was holding, leading to a scuffle. Hsu tried to separate Chiu and Lee, and quickly became entangled in the conflict.

At one point, Hsu slapped Chiu in the face, who then retaliated by pulling her hair.

During the tussle, Hsu also grabbed Chiu by the neck. (CNA image)

Though the two were separated by other legislators on the floor, Chiu continued to skirmish with other KMT legislators, such as caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) and KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順).

When Lin Chuan attempted to approach the podium despite to ruckus, KMT legislators hurled water balloons, fake bank notes, brochures, and even a sofa chair at him.

Seeing that the situation had become untenable, Su recommended Lin Chuan leave and called for the session to be reconvened the next day.

On her Facebook page that afternoon, Chiu said "Lin brought a microphone to the floor in contempt the Legislative Yuan and as I sought to dissuade them, I suffered a beating and a slap to the face by Hsu Shu-hua, Lee Yen-hsiu and other blue legislators, the KMT took the lead in demonstrating what is bullying."

Hsu later in the day said that her behavior caused a negative impression, and she much apologize to the public, but should would not apologize to Chiu.