Sat, Dec 27, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Lien to propose youth ministry

BIG QUESTION In a speech tonight, the KMT chairman will also say he wants to initiate a referendum on education reform and hold it alongside the elections

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

In a bid to woo youth support, KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) is expected tonight to propose to upgrade the National Youth Commission (青輔會) to a full ministry if he wins the presidential election next March.

In a speech to be delivered at the opening of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-People First Party (PFP) alliance's campaign office in Tainan County, Lien spells out the three minimum qualifications needed for the job of his proposed minister of youth

In the drafted speech, a copy of which was faxed to reporters yesterday, Lien says the person to head the ministry of youth must be under 39 years of age, computer-savvy and know how to play computer games.

Noting the importance of cyber know-how in the new economic era, Lien says that he would attach weight to the recruitment of young talent if he wins the presidency.

Lien and his People First Party (PFP) counterpart James Soong (宋楚瑜) will challenge President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the upcoming presidential election.

Lien also says that, if elected, government officials must first past tests to prove that they are computer-savvy before they qualify to become members of his future cabinet.

Stating the importance of educational issue to the young adults, Lien in his draft speech criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration's educational policy and said he would call for a referendum on educational reform on March 20 next year.

"On March 20, we want the public to make a decision on whether they would like to accept the modified old-style practice of joint exams or the current Diversified Enrollment Scheme (多元入學方案)," says Lien in the draft speech, adding that he is willing to stage a debate with Chen on issues concerning educational reform.

Lien is expected also to restate his vision for district administrative government, proposing to integrate Kaohsiung and Tainan Cities, Kaohsiung and Tainan Counties and neighboring Pintung County and such into what he called a Southern District Administrative Government.

The plan was in line with Lien's call for restructuring the country's administrative districts. Lien in previous weeks had called for the holding of referendums on the merger of Taipei City, Taipei County and their neighboring administrative regions as well as the merging of five cities and counties in central Taiwan.

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