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Sun, Aug 05, 2001 - Page 3 News List

MJIB switch called `abrupt'

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

Director of the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB), Wang Kuang-yu (王光宇), yesterday said that while the replacement was "abrupt," he was willing to take up any post the government proposed.

It is widely expected that Wang will be asked to serve as a national policy advisor after leaving the Investigation Bureau.

Around 10pm Friday, Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) surprisingly announced that the Executive Yuan had agreed to allow Deputy Director of the Investigation Bureau Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) to replace Wang as soon as possible.

"It was very strange and abrupt that the announcement came after office hours," Wang said yesterday. "But regardless, I am willing to accept any arrangement the government will offer."

There has been a great deal of speculation about Wang's transfer. Rumor has it that Wang failed to cooperate closely with the minister on various issues and was therefore replaced by Yeh, who is closer to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Wang has been strongly opposed to the justice minister's suggestion to establish an anti-corruption administration due to the fear that the bureau's power may be weakened.

Wang also disagreed with the justice minister's proposal to switch the MJIB's main duties from national security to domestic criminal investigation.

However, after a morning meeting with Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday morning, Wang said that his conscience was clear. "I do not doubt my own performance," he said.

Yeh yesterday visited Wang while he was cleaning out his desk. Although the short meeting was admittedly embarrassing for the two, both said that the bureau would always put the nation's interests first.

"I have been worked at the bureau for 34 years and have good rapport with investigators," Yeh stressed yesterday.

"We will continue to maintain national security and to crack down `black gold.'"

Yeh, 59, was the director of the department of government ethics in the Taipei City Government when the president served as Taipei City mayor and has a sound reputation for his efforts against "black gold." As the year-end elections are approaching, the Presidential Office decided to promote Yeh in order to combat corruption and prevent vote-buying.

The Investigators Reform Association said yesterday that they would arrange a meeting with the new director to try to make him deal with the bureau's current problems and initiate reform. They also hoped that he would be able to nurture professional, neutral and dignified execution of the law.

The Reform Association has posted the following three points on their Web site:

First, even though reform inside the bureau for many reasons was not carried out to the extent expected, Wang's earnest desire for reform and his moral character still leaves us with a deep impression.

Second, the government's decision to appoint the new director from within the bureau's own ranks, boosting internal morale and the opening up of promotional channels, is very positive. We feel encouraged by and respect promoting from internal ranks.

Third, after taking up his post, the new director will hopefully persist in impartial opinions, oppose pressure from political and industrial circles and truly establish professional, neutral and dignified implementation of the law.

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