Fri, May 26, 2000 - Page 12 News List

Key MRT man jumps tracks to Cabinet job

By Ho Jung-hsing 何榮幸

The political implications for Chiang Yao-chung (江耀宗), director general of the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS, 捷運局) entering the new Cabinet lies not in the recognition of his professional abilities, but in thefact that a Taipei City Govern-ment official from Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) team has finally entered President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) new government.

With Chiang's appointment, Ma's team has been nicely incorporated into the "government for all people" (全民政府) -- even though the move itself may be an insult to Ma.

Chiang's appointment as vice chairman of the Public Construction Commission (行政院公共工程委員會) caused a storm in a tea pot.

Although Chiang tried to keep his appointment low profile to save Ma from losing face, he was determined to hand in his resignation to the mayor.

When Ma realized he could do nothing to change Chiang's mind, he put on a long face and expressed his dissatisfaction.

He accused the new government of failing to inform him in advance and subsequently hinted that Chiang lacked a sense of comradeship in giving up his responsibilities of running the MRT system.

But in actuality Chiang was promoted during A-bian's (阿扁) tenure as mayor. Ever since then Chiang and Lin Neng-pai (林能白), the chairman of the Public Construction Commission, have laid a foundation for mutual trust.

Even though Ma appointed Chiang DORTS director general, Chen's effort to promote Chiang was no less than that of Ma.

In addition, Chiang is a technocrat. The MRT line opening may need his supervision, but he could also perform well in the Cabinet-level commission.

In a situation where "he has plenty of room for realizing his ideals whether in the central or Taipei City Government," the political implications for his entering the cabinet have been clear enough.

Before A-bian formed his "government for all people," Ma was calling for party-to-party negotiations.

As A-bian successfully recruited KMT members, Ma's team became a key target for recruiting by the incoming administration. Chiang's appointment to a Cabinet post marks Ma's failure to guard his team.

With the missing piece from Ma's team finally inserted into A-bian's government map, the jigsaw-puzzle of a "government for all people" has been successfully completed.

Ho Jung-hsing is chief of the city desk at the Liberty Times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top