Tue, Nov 26, 2002 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmakers urge premier to get down to business

CNA , TAIPEI

Opposition lawmakers urged Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday to redeem himself by applying himself fully to his job after he agreed to remain at his post on the urging of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

KMT whip at the Legislative Yuan Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) said that Yu, as head of the Cabinet, is the one who should take the blame for the government's bungled policy of reforming the debt-riddled grassroots banks, rather than the Minister of Finance Lee Yung-san (李庸三) and the Council of Agriculture Chairman Fan Cheng-chung (范振宗), the two Cabinet members who quit Sunday over the policy, according to Yu.

Lee Chuan-chiao lauded the finance minister, whose policy triggered the demonstration of fishermen and farmers on Saturday, as a finance expert and credited Fan for calming down the protesters, which lead to Saturday's demonstration ending peacefully.

Although the premier was retained, Lee Chuan-chiao said, he is now no more than a caretaker or a lame duck.

Even as a caretaker, Yu should not sit idly on his hands, as long as he is still the head of the Cabinet, Lee said, adding he could make up for his mistakes in the botched financial reform plan by driving down the unemployment rate and improving social order; otherwise, the KMT will ask him to leave.

Another KMT lawmaker, Mu Ming-chu (穆閩珠), said the repeated shakeups of the Cabinet formed by the DPP will inevitably damage the government's credibility and efficiency.

Citing the government's statistics, Mu said 28 Cabinet agencies have a leadership change twice, and 10 have seen their chiefs replaced three times in the last two years after the DPP took power.

Meanwhile, a KMT official unveiled his party's eight-point proposal to sort out the problems surrounding the grassroots banks.

Tzeng Yung-chuan (曾永權), executive director of the KMT Central Policy Coordinating Commission, said his party is calling for the reinstatement of the 36 grassroots banks taken over by commercial banks last year after they had accumulated more bad loans than their assets.

The KMT's proposal also calls for full acceptance by the government of the demands made by the farmers and fishermen.

The KMT's decision not to call for Yu's removal is in sync with public opinion as shown on polls commissioned by the party after Saturday's demonstration.

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