President Chen Shui-bian (
"History teaches us that if we don't have any feeling for or identify with the land we live in, all the policies and measures mapped out by the government are bound to alienate the people, and we will pay a steep price for that," Chen said.
Taiwan's economic miracle may be attributed to the outstanding leadership of a few government officials, Chen said, but behind that success story there are also many civil servants who silently made their contributions.
Chen made the remarks during a memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of former vice premier and presidential advisor Hsu Ching-chong (
He was the first Taiwanese to receive a doctoral degree in agriculture from Taihoku (Taipei) Imperial University, the predecessor of National Taiwan University. He was also the first Taiwanese vice premier and first agriculture director of the now-downsized Taiwan Provincial Government.
Chen quoted Hsu as saying that he felt regret that his suggestions on flood control measures were neglected by the KMT administration.
"The KMT administration had insufficient knowledge about Taiwan's geology. Take the flood-control project in Sanchong (
Soong, who spoke after Chen left the scene, dismissed Chen's remarks and said that the KMT should not be blamed for the flooding problems in Sangchung and Sijhih.
"The direction of the government policy was correct," he said. "Why do we blame a particular party and individual for making a mistake? This ceremony is an occasion for commemoration, not for laying blame."
Soong, who served as the head of the Government Information Office and secretary to then premier Chiang Ching-kuo (
Although Hsu was not a media darling, Soong said that he made a great contribution to the country.