Thu, May 20, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Six outgoing Cabinet members honored at party

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

One day before the inauguration of the new Cabinet, a farewell party was held yesterday for six outgoing Cabinet officials whose offices are located inside the Cabinet complex.

Among the six Cabinet members honored was Vice Premier Lin Hsin-i (林信義). Lin, 58, is the first entrepreneur in the nation's history to become a Cabinet official. His hands-on experience in the private sector and extensive political connections won him recognition from both Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party governments.

In 1997, former premier Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) asked Lin to head the Cabinet's Central Personnel Administration. Lin turned down the offer for family and work reasons.

`Taiwan's Lee Iacocca'

In 2000, under the administration of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), he was appointed minister of economic affairs.

Calling Lin "the ROC government's Lee Iacocca," Premier Yu Shyi-kun lauded Lin for bringing industrial management techniques to the civil sector. Yu gave Lin a ceramic bitter squash in a glass box to show that Lin had helped lead Taiwan through "bitter days."

One of Lin most memorable comments regarding the global and local economic downturn was his calling for the public to brace for "bitter days."

Another of the six was Cabinet Secretary-general Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), who at 45 is the youngest-ever Cabinet secretary-general and the first woman to hold the position.

`A 24-hour 7-eleven'

Liu was director of the Bureau of Environmental Protection of the Taipei City Government when Chen Shui-bian was Taipei mayor. She later took up the post of deputy commissioner of Taichung County.

Calling Liu a "24-hour 7-Eleven" and an "iron lady," Yu extolled Liu's devotion to her job. Yu has jokingly said that he would like to introduce his 20-something son to Liu, who is still single.

Liu will begin a fellowship of one year at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC next month. She plans to do research on Taiwan's democratization and on the relationship among Taiwan, China and the US.

Also honored was Cabinet spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), 40. Lin Chia-lung is the second Cabinet spokesman in the nation's history. Along with his good looks and impressive education, Lin is known for his negotiating skills and eloquence. During his one-year stint as Cabinet spokesman, he won the nickname "Master Ma Basher" for his attacks against Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Calling him a "rising star today and tomorrow" and "manager of the government's image," Yu complimented Lin Chia-lung on his work ethic.

calls late at night

"I've learned that he, who has his telephone turned on 24 hours a day, has often gotten telephone calls from female reporters after midnight," Yu said.

"But as far as I understand, it's purely business, so I'm not that worried after all," he said.

The other Cabinet members honored were Ministers without Portfolio Tsai Ching-yen (蔡清彥), Chen Chi-nan (陳其南) and Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮).

Lin Chia-lung will now head the Government Information Office, Chen has been appointed chairman of the Council for Cultural Affairs and Yeh will take the top job at the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission.

Earlier yesterday, Yu presented Lin Hsin-i and 13 other Cabinet officials with the highest medals available for civil servants in appreciation of their outstanding service. They included Liu; Tsai; Eugene Chien (簡又新), former foreign minister; Tang Yao-ming (湯曜明), former defense minister; Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲), former interior minister; Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), outgoing Mainland Council chairwoman; Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀), outgoing culture minister; Huang Jong-tsun (黃榮村), outgoing education minister; and Huang Hui-chen (黃輝珍), outgoing GIO head.

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