Sat, Sep 09, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Premier William Lai promises to lead a ‘pragmatic’ Cabinet

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Premier William Lai, right, receives the premier’s official seal from his predecessor Lin Chuan, left, during a handover ceremony witnessed by Vice President Chen Chien-jen at the Executive Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday vowed to lead a “pragmatic” Cabinet that would do without a “honeymoon period.”

Lai made the remarks after being sworn in as premier and attending a handover ceremony with his new Cabinet.

Saying it is his belief that politicians would be rewarded with applause as long as they serve the public selflessly and sincerely, Lai said he hopes that his Cabinet would be a clean and diligent one that shows love for its homeland.

There would be no honeymoon, probation or trial period for his team, which would start working from day one, so that it could move Taiwan forward by pushing reforms and transition on the foundation laid by his predecessor, Lin Chuan (林全), Lai said.

Lai said he had laid down three principles for his team: that he would entrust tasks to his subordinates according to their specialities; that he would pursue consistency in the Cabinet’s operations; and that he would emphasize results.

Although the premier, vice premier and secretary-general have been reshuffled, agency heads must swiftly adjust to the changes to ensure a seamless transition in the Cabinet’s operation, he said.

Work to be undertaken by his team include upgrading the nation’s industry, removing barriers for foreign investors, mitigating the effects of the “one fixed day off, one flexible rest day” workweek, meeting the challenge of energy transition, tackling problems stemming from a low birth rate and an aging population, managing government projects and carrying through tax, pension and judicial reforms, he said.

As the premier, his main responsibility is to facilitate national development, drive economic growth and serve the public interest, instead of certain political parties, he said.

“Therefore, the new Cabinet is neither a ‘combat’ Cabinet nor an ‘election’ Cabinet, but rather a ‘pragmatic’ Cabinet,” he said.

The Presidential Office later yesterday announced that Lin has been tapped as a senior adviser to the president until May 19 next year.

Meanwhile, shares yesterday staged a technical rebound as the TAIEX closed above the 10,600-point mark, led by select large-cap stocks in the electronics and non-technology sectors, dealers said.

Buying of market heavyweights, especially in the financial sector, reinforced market speculation that government-run funds were buying shares to push up the index on the day the new Cabinet was sworn in, dealers said.

The TAIEX closed up 71.44 points, or 0.68 percent, at the day’s high of 10,609.95.

“Judging from the gains posted by market heavyweights, in particular financial stocks — which government-led funds favor — I suspect the government instructed the funds to enter the market to boost share prices as a kind of celebration for the inauguration of the new Cabinet,” KGI Securities Co (凱基證券) analyst Phil Chu said.

“Despite today’s rebound, the weighted index encountered resistance near the 10,619 mark, an intraday high posted on Aug. 8,” Chu said. “Whether the main board will be able to stand above that level and continue to post significant gains will depend on whether foreign institutional investors purchase [shares] on a large scale.”

Additional reporting by CNA and staff writer

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