Wed, Jan 29, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Cabinet spokesman accepts offer of OCAC's top job

By Ko Shu-Ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday appointed Cabinet Spokesman Chuang Suo-hang (莊碩漢) as the head of the Overseas Chinese Commission, effective Saturday.

The position has been empty since last September, when Chen Rong-jye (陳榮傑) was appointed as a representative to Russia.

Since Chuang's successor has not yet been named, Cabinet Secretary-General Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) will temporarily act as the spokesperson.

One frontrunner for the position is Government Information Office Director-General Arthur Iap (葉國興), who had been considered for the job last February when Yu was selecting his Cabinet.

Iap, however, told the Taipei Times yesterday that he has no interest in the job.

"If I were interested, I would've taken it as soon as it was offered," he said.

Although Yu was tightlipped about the shift yesterday, he hinted that he was leaning toward Iap for the spokesman's post during the year-end banquet with the media at the Executive Yuan on Monday night.

"He might change his mind and take up the Cabinet spokesman job if you guys jointly sign a petition imploring him to do it," Yu said, jokingly.

Chuang, on the other hand, seemed happy about his move to the commission post.

"I accepted the premier's offer right on the spot when he quizzed me on the matter on Monday night," he said.

Chuang, 48, referred to the spokesperson position as the "fax machine of the premier" when he took the job a year ago. At the time he was vice chairman of the Tai-wan Provincial Government.

Chuang served as political vice minister of the Ministry of Civil Service between 1996 and 2000.

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