Sat, Nov 03, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Group remembers late minister Chen

ANNIVERSARY Chen Ding-nan, who died almost exactly a year ago, was dubbed `Mr Clean' by the media and established the Black Gold Investigation Center

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

An association yesterday paid tribute to former minister of justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南), remembering him as a model politician.

Chen died of lung cancer in National Taiwan University Hospital on Nov. 5 last year and the Chen Ding-nan Foundation held a series of activities to commemorate him in the run up to the first anniversary of his death.

Former minister without portfolio Lin Sheng-feng (林盛豐) told yesterday's conference that public construction projects are often criticized for their bad quality and having involved bribery, but Chen managed to maintain extremely high standards during his two terms as Ilan County commissioner from 1981 to 1989.

Lin said Chen's choice of a clean and professional government team, his diligence in learning the details of all construction proposals, his habit of convening meetings on construction proposals to discuss the projects and his strict supervision contributed to the high quality of public construction work in Ilan County during his tenure.

He said because Chen stayed away from corruption, kickbacks, or factional interests, he was able to govern the county well.

Lee Min-yung (李敏勇), a poet, also said most politicians were usually concerned only with winning elections and spent little time reading, but he met Chen several times in book stores.

Lee said Chen was a man who demonstrated honesty, integrity and prudence.

The Chen Ding-nan Foundation on Thursday also released a biography of Chen entitled An Official with an Esteemed Personality.

The association also proposed building a memorial hall for Chen in his hometown of Ilan.

Dubbed "Mr Clean" by the media, Chen established the Black Gold Investigation Center under the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office to fight serious corruption immediately upon assuming his post as minister in 2000.

Chen received a bachelor's degree in law from National Taiwan University in 1966.

After graduating he ran various businesses until his political career officially began when he was first elected Ilan County commissioner in 1981.

He occupied this position for two terms, until 1989.

Chen's political involvement went back to his connections with the dangwai movement, the forerunner of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Many of those involved in the Kaohsiung Incident in 1979 were Chen's high school or college friends.

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