Taipei Times: You often emphasize the importance of regional autonomy. How will you apply this idea to the central government?
Chang Po-ya (
TT: The rearrangement of national lands and readjustment of administrative regions are up for discussion. What is your opinion on the matter?
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
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 (
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,
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 (
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.
TT: You are the first chief in charge of both the MOI and the Taiwan Provincial Government. How will you work on collaborating resources from both sectors?
Chang: In fact, the provincial government does not have many resources.
What we have to do is ultimately decide on the status of the provincial government after its marginalization. Is it a secondary department of the MOI or of the Executive Yuan? And does it need to be eradicated? We have to decide on this in the near term.
TT: Some designated Cabinet members criticized the current Cabinet for appearing to "resist" the transfer of power to the new government. Have you encountered any similar problems?
Chang: It has been OK so far. But high-level positions [in the MOI] have been occupied. The adjustment of high-level positions should not happen after the election. It's a problem of whether we should respect each other [new and current government]. It will be better in the future to have laws spelling this out.
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