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Mon, May 15, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Chang to bring integrity to MOI

Minister of the Interior-designate Chang Po-ya, In an interview with 'Taipei Times' reporters Liu Shai-hua and Lin Chieh-yu says her appointment will help bring integrity, efficiency and dignity to the ministry, benefits she has brought to her hometown of Chiayi during her tenure as mayor

Minister of the Interior-designate and Chiayi City Mayor Chang Po-ya.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Taipei Times: You often emphasize the importance of regional autonomy. How will you apply this idea to the central government?

Chang Po-ya (張博雅): Counties and cities are the most important units of regional autonomy. They are the main executors of policies. The central government should not always enforce from above but has to place importance on the opinions of regional governments to enforce laws and maintain order.

TT: The rearrangement of national lands and readjustment of administrative regions are up for discussion. What is your opinion on the matter?

Chang: The rearrangement of national lands is necessary. We need to plan how to make use of these lands more effectively and also take the environment into consideration.

However, the reorganization of administrative regions is just a waste of manpower and money, as well as a confusing inconvenience for the public. Money and resources need to be handed back to the local governments and should not be wasted on time-consuming paperwork.

TT: President-elect Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) says terminating "black gold" politics and pushing through with post-earthquake reconstruction are his policy priorities. Both are closely related to the interior ministry. What is your priority and how will you complement Chen's policies?

Chang: All the policies of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) are equally important. What is more urgent at this moment is passing the alternative to military service (替代役) and 333 family welfare program (三三三計劃) [which includes free medical care for children under three years old and a preferential interest rate on housing loans for first-time home buyers].

As for terminating "black gold," the National Police Administration (NPA, 警政署) under the MOI is charged with carrying forth policies in this direction. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is the authority to judge in "black gold" cases. The NPA will cooperate with the MOJ as much as possible.

If the prevention of vote buying can be successful, it would be the best indication of wiping out "black gold." I have been pushing to begin vote-buying prevention and awareness in primary school. We have to let the public understand the importance of morals.

Some regulations intended to curb "black-gold" in the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (選罷法) were not thoroughly implemented. Maybe it needs some amending. Vote buying must be wiped out to do away with corrupt electoral politics.

TT: You have been emphasizing the values of integrity and morals since the outset of your participation in politics. What do you hope for in the government?

Chang: The essential requirement for public servants is to be at the service of the public and have a conscience. We have to pay attention to the law, sense and sentiment (法理情) at the same time. However, the contrary order [of the three elements] is not allowed. Otherwise, it will cause problems.

TT: What can the new government offer Taiwan, in your opinion?

Chang: I hope the new government can bring dignity, democracy, peace and happiness for the people.

TT: With Taiwan in a constant face-off with China, is there any deeper meaning to your use of the word "dignity?"

Chang: Since we choose a president through direct election, Taiwan is definitely a state. The new president should not back down from our stance on Taiwan's sovereignty. One ethnic group doesn't necessarily need to make a state.

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