Ko accepts resignation of top ‘haughty bureaucrat’

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Oct 29, 2015 - Page 1

Taipei Research, Development and Evaluation Commission Chairperson Chen Ming-hsiun (陳銘薰), who made a controversial remark on Facebook and walked out on a Taipei City councilor during a question-and-answer session, yesterday had his resignation accepted by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

Chen, who doubled as the CEO of the city’s Universiade Organizing Committee, has become the focus of a public censure after it was reported that he threatened on Facebook to “leave [his posts] immediately” if Ko ordered that the management fee of 16 upscale dormitories used by high-ranking city government officials be raised from NT$700 to NT$15,000.

The dormitories are on Zhongshan N Rd Sec 2 and come with parking spaces, with some as large as 55 ping (181.8m2), including shared space used by officials and homeowners.

His post on the social networking Web site drew criticism from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Yan Sheng-guang (顏聖冠), who during a meeting of the council called him a “haughty bureaucrat” who “does not know the hardships suffered by ordinary people.”

Chen said: “I do not need to put up with this. I will resign now with my integrity intact,” and left the meeting, bringing the proceedings to a standstill.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) said Ko approved Chen’s resignation after the two met yesterday at noon, even though Ko on Tuesday ordered Chen to go on leave for a week to “cool off.”

The decision was a rapid reversal by Ko, who just a couple of hours before letting Chen go defended him while responding to reporters’ questions.

“I told him not to make any emotional decisions. The commission is one of the most crucial units run by the city government because of its role in governing and evaluating agencies,” Ko said earlier in the day. “On top of that, he is also in charge of organizing the 2017 Summer Universiade.”

“Politics should not be oppressed by populism to such an extent that it cripples one’s ability to make sensible judgements,” Ko said, adding: “It would create a serious issue for us if a person in charge of such important tasks left over such trifling matters.”

Taipei Department of Personnel Commissioner Hwai Hsu (懷敘) said commission Deputy Chairperson Huang Ming-tsai (黃銘材) would serve as the interim chairperson, while Universiade Organizing Committee deputy CEO Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) would take over Chen’s duties.

DPP Taipei City Councilor Lin Shih-tsung (林世宗) said that while he has no doubt about Chen’s abilities and contributions, his behavior was unacceptable to the city council given his role as a city official.

It is appropriate that he resigned, Lin said.

Lin urged the Ko administration to build camaraderie instead of “rocking the boat” by recklessly stating their differences on city government policies, which he said would hamper policy implementation and cause discord in the legislature.