Tue, Aug 23, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh defends official's demotion

WATER FALLOUT Frank Hsieh denied charges that Yin Chi-ming was chosen to take responsibility for the water supply problems in Taoyuan because he is a KMT member

BY JIMMY CHUANG  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) will be relieved of his post because he was the supervisor for water supply when services to Taoyuan were halted, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.

"Although he [Yin] is not an expert in water resources, he is responsible for the water shortage problem in Taoyuan because he is the direct supervisor for all water resources-related issues," the premier said.

Hsieh, speaking at the legislature yesterday morning, was responding to allegations that Yin was relieved of his position because he is a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) who has criticized the government policies.

Hsieh denied the allegations, adding that he did not know a lot about Yin's background.

"When I was deciding to punish him, I did not know there was this background story about him," Hsieh said. "However, even if he is a KMT member and has criticized the government, it does not mean that he enjoys immunity because of political concerns."

"He is the supervisor so he must leave his post when something goes wrong under his supervision. It is just that simple," Hsieh said.

The premier added that government officials are not allowed to escape responsibility by claiming they are not an expert.

"If this excuse worked, well, then it would be necessary for me, as premier, to carry out certain adjustments in government officials' positions so we would have real experts for appropriate positions," he said.

Yin was seen in Hsieh's office yesterday noon.

Yin, however, told reporters that the premier had merely chatted with him and had not discussed his removal from the vice minister post, his new position or potential candidates to succeed him.

Hsieh had promised to announce Yin's new position and the person to replace him as vice minister by the end of last week.

As of press time yesterday, however, he had not made public his decision.

Yin has held high-level government positions for some time. He was supervisor of Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥), the current Minister of Economic Affairs, when he was director-general of the ministry's Industrial Development Bureau in 1994. Ho was only a section chief at the bureau at that time. Yin and Ho were co-workers at the bureau for 12 years prior to that.

However, in May last year the situation was reversed. Ho was promoted by then-vice premier Lin Hsin-yi (林信義), to become minister of economic affairs and Yin's supervisor.

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