Wed, May 07, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ma calls on incoming officials to uphold integrity

CLEAN POLITICS The president-elect emphasized the importance of having leaders set a good example and cited Singapore as a model for combating corruption

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Members of the incoming Cabinet attend an orientation meeting in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) stressed the importance of upholding government integrity as he met members of the incoming Cabinet during an orientation meeting yesterday.

“Integrity means not only incorruptibility but also uprightness,” Ma told members of the incoming administration, adding that government chiefs should set a good example for their subordinates and create an atmosphere of “honesty.”

“This is very important judging from some recent events,” he said, without elaborating on what he meant.

Ma’s remarks were seen as referring to the US$30 million Papua New Guinea foreign affairs fund scandal.

Ma used Singapore’s efforts in combating corruption over the past four decades as an example for the incoming government.

“A Singaporean official told me that the most important thing [to prevent corruption] is the political will of the leader,” Ma said in English.

“In other words, government chiefs play the key role [in preventing corruption]. If government chiefs emphasize [the importance of integrity], the government would perform well [in ensuring clean politics],” he said.

Ma made the remarks during the meeting with the 40 designated Cabinet members in Taipei yesterday.

Ma said that he would play a “backstage” role after the inauguration while allowing Cabinet chiefs to execute administrative policies.

He urged the Cabinet appointees to turn his platform into policies, policies into projects and translate projects into budget requests so as to carry out the promises he made to voters during the presidential campaign.

He said he expected the incoming administrators to listen closely to public opinion.

Meanwhile, premier-designate Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) vowed to push for cooperation between different government branches after assuming office.

Liu said the different branches of the administration should set short-term, mid-term and long-term goals, adding that the Cabinet would organize special projects run by government chiefs or ministers without portfolio based on the policies proposed by the government agencies.

Liu also urged incoming government officials to establish a risk management mechanism as soon as possible in light of “some recent shocking and unbelievable cases.”

He did not specify what cases he was referring to.

“Integrity and competence are the basic requirements for incoming Cabinet officials,” he said.

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