Wed, Jan 19, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet reshuffle settled at end of month, Wu says

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Flora Wang  /  Staff Reporters

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday that an ongoing plan to reshuffle the Cabinet would be settled by the end of this month.

“I had a plan in mind to complete a necessary reshuffle by Jan. 31, together with the consideration [of a possible candidate to replace] Department of Health Minister [Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良)],” Wu said.

Yaung offered to resign on Jan. 4 after the legislature passed a bill to reform the National Health Insurance System. He later agreed to stay on until the end of this month.

‘ILLOGICAL’

Cabinet members in economic-related departments are likely to retain their positions because replacing economic officials just as the economic recovery gains ground seems “illogical,” Wu said.

It is not easy to recruit talent in the private sector to work for the government because they would rather not be questioned by lawmakers in the legislature, disclose their assets to the Control Yuan or be subject to a number of restrictions imposed on Cabinet members, Wu said.

Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱), who has been diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma and recently underwent surgery, might also continue in his position, Wu said, adding that he had talked to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) about the matter and found that Kao should be able to stay in the position because he is recovering well.

REPLACING JOHNNY

At a separate setting yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) urged the premier to replace Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), saying that Chiang was the least well-known GIO minister under the KMT administration.

“Back in the old KMT administration era, [the position of] the GIO minister was extremely important and almost the most high-profile [among government officials]. However, who knows Johnny Chiang now?” asked Lo, alleging that Chiang had failed to defend government policy on a number of occasions.

Lo also singled out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, saying Wu should consider replacing government chiefs at the ministries, or the party’s performance in the next legislative and presidential elections would suffer.

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