Wed, May 05, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Financial, economic officials appointed in Cabinet shuffle

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Three high-ranking financial and economic Cabinet officials were appointed yesterday while Minister without Portfolio Arthur Iap (葉國興), who caused much uproar and controversy while heading the Government Inform-ation Office (GIO), will become the Cabinet secretary-general once the Cabinet reshuffle has been finalized, Premier Yu Shy-kun announced yesterday.

The three financial and economic officials are Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥), vice chairwoman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, who will head the Ministry of Economic Affairs; Minister without Portfolio Hu Sheng-cheng (胡勝正), who will take up the chairmanship of the Council for Economic Planning and Development; and Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全), who will stay in his post.

Other Cabinet officials who will remain include the head of the Environmental Protection Administration Chang Juu-en (張祖恩), Atomic Energy Council Chairman Ouyang Min-shen (歐陽敏盛), Minister without Portfolio Lin Sheng-feng (林盛豐), Minister without Portfolio Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪) and Minister without Portfolio Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄).

Yu made the announcement yesterday morning after presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) and Vice Minister of the Interior Lee Chin-yung (李進勇).

Su, Chen and Lee will resign on May 12 when Yu leads all Cabinet officials to resign en masse, in accordance with constitutional precedence.

Yu said yesterday that the search for financial and economic Cabinet officials frustrated him.

"I've inquired about the availability of several possible candidates recommended by industrial leaders over the past few days, but none of them were interested," Yu said, adding that the list included Acer Inc Chairman and CEO Stan Shih (施振榮).

Shih declined the offer, citing health reasons. Nevertheless, he offered to provide advice if asked, Yu said. Others cited the "revolving door" policy of civil servants or their reluctance to answer to the lawmaking body as reasons for declining the government positions.

Outgoing Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that both the executive and legislative branches should ponder why entrepreneurs hesitate to serve the country.

"Some outstanding financial or economic experts are just not good at promoting themselves or don't feel comfortable interacting with lawmakers who are known for their vitriolic criticism of government officials," he said.

"It's an interesting phenomenon that the definition of a good political functionary here in Taiwan consists of 90 percent grandstanding and 10 percent hard-work and expertise," he said.

Iap, 52, was appointed minister without portfolio in July last year, in charge of reviewing media-related projects. Citing health reasons, Iap resigned in June last year.

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