Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said after being sworn in yesterday that he hoped the members of his Cabinet would be innovative and dedicated to speeding up government reform.
At a handover ceremony, Jiang said that the Cabinet — the highest executive organ of the state — was responsible for formulating most government policies. As the head of the new Cabinet, Jiang said he was under great pressure, had heavier responsibilities than most and that he expected his team to be innovative and transformative.
Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who presided over the handover ceremony, paid tribute to Jiang and his predecessor, Sean Chen (陳冲).
In his previous positions, the most recent of which was vice premier, Jiang displayed strong communication and coordination skills and contributed to the push for government reforms, Wu said.
On Chen’s performance, Wu said he was impressed by the outgoing premier’s enthusiasm in carrying out his duties and his strong sense of responsibility.
In turn, Chen said it was a pleasure to work with Jiang, a professor turned politician who had also served as interior minister in the previous Cabinet.
Chen also mentioned Jiang’s efforts to reform the nation’s public and private sector pension systems.
Earlier in the day, Jiang and his Cabinet were sworn in at a ceremony at the Presidential Office, which was presided over by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
On Sunday night, Ma called on the new Cabinet to come up with concrete results, saying that his administration was struggling in the opinion polls.
In a meeting with top leaders of the executive branch and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Ma urged Jiang and his Cabinet to seize the opportunity as “the light of dawn is breaking both at home and abroad.”
He was referring to signs of the global recovery gaining momentum at the turn of the New Year.
Ma pledged yesterday to improve communication among the different branches of government to better facilitate implementation of government policies.
The issue was discussed in a meeting with Wu, Jiang and other Cabinet members on Sunday, Ma said.
“After the discussion, all of us felt that it would be a very difficult task, but we’re all confident that it can be done,” he said at a Lunar New Year gathering with Presidential Office staff.
He reiterated that the newly sworn-in Cabinet headed by Jiang “will do the best job possible” to boost the economy, taking advantage of a global economic situation beginning to take a turn for the better.
At another Lunar New Year gathering with KMT staff, Ma said the economy remains the greatest challenge facing the new Cabinet.
This year, the government must vigorously push ahead with the Taoyuan aerotropolis project and “free economic demonstration zones” to stimulate economic growth, said Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman.
Ma expressed the hope that legislation crucial to the government’s reform of Taiwan’s deficit-laden pension programs would clear the Legislative Yuan soon.
He also proposed strengthening the existing mechanisms for cooperation between the government and the ruling party to smooth the interaction between the executive and legislative branches.
If necessary, task forces should be set up to seek quick solutions to specific problems, he said.