President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday restated his resolve to continue down the road of reform and to fight corruption, saying that it was the only option for his administration.
Chen made the remarks in his latest weekly A-bian electronic newsletter, which will be available online today.
"I'm calling on the public to believe in Taiwan and to support the government's reform initiatives," Chen said. "I will continue to do the right thing and to walk the right path, although I'm well aware that there are many obstacles along the way."
Looking ahead, Chen said it is inevitable that he will encounter more challenges, but he and his administration are determined to push for reform and sustainable development.
"There is no other option but to continue to push for reform," he said. "Reform and the price that comes with it are nothing to be afraid of. What is scary is when we don't have any faith in ourselves, the nation, or the reforms themselves."
Since the public has great expectations for the administration and hopes to see it fight corruption, Chen said his administration will judge itself by the highest moral standards.
"We won't allow any more blemishes or mistakes to occur in the future, despite the legislature's failure to pass related `clean governance' bills," he said.
Chen also said that most Cabinet officials who were legally required to put their assets into a trust had already done so, and expressed the hope that the media and the public would stop doubting their certitude.
Chen revealed in the newsletter that Premier Su Tseng-chang (
"Crime does not occur in a vacuum. In order to eradicate crime, we need to eliminate the hotbeds in which it flourishes," Chen said. "We will not allow the powerful to bully the weak, or the majority to steamroll the minority. Nor will we tolerate anyone deliberately challenging the government's authority."
Chen said that he has instructed the relevant government agencies to place social security and maintaining social order first on their agendas. Those who fail to achieve the goal should brace themselves for punishment, he warned.
Chen emphasized that it was not the sole responsibility of law enforcement agencies to improve social security, but that of the government as a whole, both central and local.
Chen also expressed his hope that the public would emulate Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (