Mon, May 21, 2001 - Page 1 News List

Presidential Office names advisors

NEW LIST There were some surprising new additions and some omissions on the list, with consideration said to have been given to those upholding women's rights

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Presidential Office yesterday announced its list of advisors for next year, which included new additions Liu Chia (劉俠), an activist for the physically disabled, and women's rights activist Lee Yuan-chen (李元貞).

Shihlin Paper Co owner Chen Chao-chuan (陳朝傳), who is involved in a sexual harassment scandal, was taken off the list, while Alice King (金美齡), the Tokyo-based pro-independence advocate, and Chi Mei Corp (奇美實業) President Shi Wen-long (許文龍) were retained.

The posts of more than 100 advisors remained unchanged, including former DPP chairmen Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文), Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) and Peng Min-min (彭明敏) -- a long-standing advocate of Taiwan independence.

The tough-talking advisor King, who is noted for her pro-independence stance, has triggered uproar during recent trips back to Taiwan during which she refused to count herself as a citizen of the Republic of China.

Shi, on the other hand, has caused controversy by telling a Japanese cartoonist that some Taiwan women volunteered to serve as prostitutes for the Japanese army during World War II.

Sources in the Presidential Office said primary consideration for the selection was given to those upholding the rights of the disadvantaged and women.

Liu Chia, a renowned writer with the pen name Ching Lin Tzu (杏林子), founded the Eden Social Welfare Foundation (伊甸殘障福利基金會) in 1982. Although confined to a wheelchair, Liu has made an impact through her writings and as a champion for the welfare of the physically disabled, providing them with psychological counseling and professional training.

Lee Yuan-chen, the founder of the Awakening Foundation (婦女新知基金會), has gained a reputation for her work promoting women's benefits.

In an effort to douse criticism of individuals who hold dual citizenship and serve as presidential advisors, the Presidential Office changed the posts of prominent industrialists Nita Ing (殷琪) of the Taiwan High-speed Railway Co (台灣高鐵), Morris Chang (張忠謀) of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC, 台基電) and Wu Li-pei (吳澧培), who is politically active and lives in the US.

Originally listed as national policy advisors or senior advisor to the president, their posts were shifted to become advisors, who perform their services voluntarily because they hold dual citizenship.

Wang Yung-ching (王永慶), chairman of the Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), was expected to be on the list, but turned out not to be. Sources said that Wang had been offered the post, but turned it down.

The positions of both senior advisors to the president and national policy advisors, created in 1948, have traditionally been filled by senior retired officials.

Although seldom consulted, a senior advisor receives NT$201,960 in monthly salary, as much as the vice premier. A national policy advisor receives NT$179,520, the same as a Cabinet minister. Only 45 advisors are on the government payroll, while the rest perform their services voluntarily.

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