TAIPEI: Two Taiwan legislators stunned students and drew sharp criticism for staging a mock attack on the island's top university to test its response after the deadly shootings on a US college campus in Virginia.
Lee Chen-nan and Lin Kuo-ching, both lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, entered a building where students were taking exams and faked an attack to see how police would react, said National Taiwan University campus spokesman Fu Li-chen.
Campus police quickly called for back-up, drawing more than 50 officers to the scene, local media reported.
Fu said students were annoyed by the stunt, which followed the shooting spree by a student at Virginia Tech university who killed 32 people.
An assistant to one of the lawmakers, Wu Hou-yi, said: "We saw that incident in the United States and were afraid someone here would try to imitate it".
He said only 12 police officers showed up at the campus after the incident, which several local journalists had gone along to witness.
"This was the legislators' and media's expression of concern, done with good intentions to remind us of how to do our work," spokesman Fu said. "This action we can accept because it follows a major event, but if it happens again, we'll have questions."
Taiwan's lawmakers often push the limits, routinely shouting at one another, brawling or bringing live animals into legislative sessions to make points.
An attack such as the Virginia Tech massacre would be more difficult to stage in Taiwan, where guns are tightly controlled and ownership of guns is illegal for the vast majority of people.
Taiwan's cabinet condemned the mock attack, saying the lawmakers and others involved had broken laws, and ordered an investigation.
Lee, one of the pair, rejected the criticism. "A lot of students were supportive, so what do I have to apologise for?" he told a news conference. "Why can't a legislator express himself like that? Don't we have this kind of freedom?"
Pretty stupid since they don't allow guns. Democrats, go figure.
Taiwan is a young democracy... hence, fist fights and worse break out on their version of the Senate/Congress called the "Legislative Yuan" all the time. Search on Youtube or Google for hilarious results.
They are ALWAYS featured in "world's most fucking outrageous videos" shows