Hong Kong Canto-pop star Jacky Cheung Hok-yau was surprised to learn he could be fined up to NT$150,000 (HK$36,600) for having his picture taken in an empty street during an air-raid drill in Taipei, instead of seeking shelter. The artist, who was in Taipei for an MTV programme, was taken aback when a busy street suddenly came to a standstill at 2pm last Wednesday. 'How is it possible that all cars in Taipei are gone at 2pm? It is like shooting a film,' the singer was quoted by one of his publicity workers as saying. At the suggestion of the MTV programme organisers, a smiling Cheung opened both arms and struck a carefree pose before a photographer. Had the picture just been for personal use, there would not have been any problem. But MTV apparently found it useful for publicity and released it to the press, according to Taiwan's ETTV cable news channel. Publication of the picture drew criticism from some people, who said Cheung had broken Taiwan's civil defence law. Police said any air-raid drill was considered 'war' and everyone must leave the streets and seek shelter. Under the law, anyone who disobeyed could be fined from NT$30,000 to $150,000. A surprised Cheung told the United Daily News he was unaware of the law. 'I had no idea what the consequence would be. How could I respond to [your question]?' he was quoted as saying. An agent for Cheung explained later that out of goodwill, the singer, known as Mr Good Man in Taiwan, agreed to have the picture taken, and he merely listened to what he was told. A publicity manager of Cheung's music production company said the photo-taking took place within three seconds of the siren going off. 'There were other people walking on the street,' the manger was quoted as saying by the United Daily News. 'And we quickly went inside the studio,' he added. The Taipei city government has yet to decide if it will hand Cheung a fine. City officials were not available for comment yesterday.