Wed, Jul 09, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Old-guard KMT member wants Cabinet shuffle

STAFF WRITER

Accusing President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of running the country in an arrogant manner, former Control Yuan president Wang Tso-yung (王作榮) yesterday urged Ma to reshuffle the Cabinet within one month.

“Growing up as the only son of a middle-class family surrounded by doting sisters, it is no wonder that Ma has an arrogant attitude,” Wang said.

He also quoted Ma’s wife, Chow Mei-chin (周美青), as having said that Ma’s downfall was his lack of empathy for others.

Change of heart

A member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) old guard, Wang had been full of praise for Ma last month. But a letter written by Wang that was published on the Chinese-language United Daily News’ opinion page yesterday reflected a possible change of heart.

“Ma needs to stand on the frontline [of the battle]. There is no such thing as a semi-presidential system [in Taiwan],” he said in the letter, referring to Ma’s stance since he assumed office on May 20.

Ma has stated that, based on the Constitution, the premier is the administrative chief and has the highest authority over most domestic matters, while the president’s responsibilities lie chiefly in diplomacy, national defense and cross-strait relations. Ma also cited the Constitution for his silence amid public complaints over rising fuel and commodity prices.

Wang said there were several examples of Ma’s arrogance. For one, he said, Ma named “a certain Taiwanese independence supporter to be the country’s top China policymaker.”

This was an apparent reference to the appointment of former Taiwan Solidarity Union legislator Lai Hsin-yuan (賴幸媛) as Mainland Affairs Council chairwoman.

Wang accused Ma of turning his back on the KMT to appease the pan-green camp by appointing many people from outside the pan-blue camp in various important posts.

He said Ma should use more of his own people, instead of trying to please the Democratic Progressive Party.

ONE TO RULE THEM ALL

A democratic society means one party is chosen to rule, Wang said, adding that the members of Ma’s administration should be chosen from the ranks of the governing party so that the party could shoulder its political responsibilities as a whole.

“But Ma won’t even pay attention to the legislature, even though it has a pan-blue majority,” he said.

Wang said that Ma was destroying Taiwan’s democracy and breaking up the KMT.

He suggested a major Cabinet reshuffle, preferably within one month, to allow more “suitable” people to be part of the team.

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