Cabinet announces ministers, ideology

NO TIME TO WASTE::Several key ministers would stay on, as premier-designate Su Tseng-chang felt that this would help them push government policy forward faster

By Chen Yu-fu and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Mon, Jan 14, 2019 - Page 1

The guiding principles behind premier-designate Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) Cabinet would be “immediately capable, in touch with the public, communicate well and promote young politicians,” Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said yesterday.

Kolas made the remarks at a news conference with incoming Executive Yuan secretary-general Li Meng-yen (李孟諺) to announce the new Cabinet lineup.

Kolas would remain in her position, as Su has asked her to stay, she added.

Several key ministers would stay on in their current roles, incoming Executive Yuan secretary-general Li said.

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基), Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) and Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) would all stay in their posts, while Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) would return to his previous post as minister of education, Li said.

Five new ministers would be appointed, while two other positions — the elected National Palace Museum director and the Ocean Affairs Council committee chairperson — would need to be filled, he said.

Su felt that the key ministers were capable in their roles and that by keeping them on they could effectively push forward government policy as quickly as possible, Li said.

Chen performed exceedingly well as minister of science and technology, and many in the industry called for him to stay on, Li said, adding that Chen agreed to remain in the post after Su spoke with him about it.

Pan maintained good communication with the Legislative Yuan when he held the post and it was decided that his return would have a positive effect on the Ministry of Education, Li said.

Su is to be sworn into office today and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has said that while it is confident that the general direction of government policy would remain the same, communication between government departments must be improved.

Su is to focus on maintaining stability and effectively responding to public opinion, Li said.

DPP caucus director-general Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said that the party’s losses in the Nov. 24 local elections was the main reason for the Cabinet reshuffle.

The party is aiming to regain public confidence swiftly, he said.

The new Cabinet would prioritize the “livelihood of the people, protection of democracy and defense of the nation’s sovereignty,” as expressed by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Li said.

DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) expressed reservations about the Cabinet reshuffle, saying that the minor changes would be interpreted by the public as a lack of sincerity on the part of the DPP.

The DPP should put more “new generation” politicians in key posts to create a sense of “fresh change” and hope in the party, he said.