Tang expected back at work in full form today

SICK DAY: The nation's premier took it easy yesterday while a few DPP lawmakers came out in support of one of his critics, Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Aug 11, 2000 - Page 3

Premier Tang Fei (唐飛) called in to work sick yesterday and rested at home, but he is expected back on the job today, Tang's wife told reporters yesterday.

Meanwhile, a handful of DPP lawmakers expressed support for Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), who on Tuesday verbally lashed out at Tang. Some opposition lawmakers said Wu's criticism of the premier lead to Tang's recent health woes, and Wu on Wednesday apologized for his remarks.

"Wu is speaking the truth. There is no need for him to apologize," his supporters said.

Tang's wife, Chang Ming-tsan (張明燦), said yesterday that Tang was feeling better, but she herself has been in a bad mood recently because she had not wanted her husband to accept the office of premier.

Chang also spoke to Wu's criticism, saying the secretary-general was just trying to articulate his viewpoint.

"What he said was frank," Chang said. "However, I would urge him to put the national interest first and look into the problems. My husband knows what he is doing."

Though still under the weather, Tang attended a banquet hosted by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday evening and met with the heads of the five yuans.

Chung Chin (鍾琴), director of the Government Information Office, said yesterday that Tang was showing no signs of tiring of his job and would continue to lead the Cabinet.

"After President Chen returns from his trip, Premier Tang will discuss further with Chen relations between the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan," Chung said.

"There is more space to improve," she said, denying that there was mutual distrust between the president and premier.

Wea Chi-lin (魏啟林), Cabinet secretary-general, also said that Tang was not growing weary of his work.

"He was reviewing many official documents at home yesterday," Wea said, adding that Tang would strengthen communication between the Executive Yuan and the DPP.

DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh yesterday ordered all party members to keep quiet over the remarks Wu made about Tang.

Nevertheless, legislators Chen Zao-nan (陳昭南) and Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) visited Wu at the DPP's headquarters yesterday to express their support for the secretary-general.

"Wu doesn't need to apologize, because there are problems with our constitutional system. Many DPP officials are dissatisfied with the performance of the Executive Yuan," Chen said, urging the president to address problems in the constitution.

Tsai said Wu was speaking for Tang's own good, though he added that Wu was probably being a little too hard on the premier.

"The DPP's legislative caucus hopes that Tang will take a tougher stance on coordinating the government budget and policy formulation," Tsai said.