Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) yesterday bade farewell to an emotional crowd at the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), vowing to continue to contribute whatever he could, as he finished the penultimate day of his term as minister.
Staff — many of whom were in tears — waited in line to say goodbye, going up to the stage one by one to take pictures with him and offer flowers.
“Although I would like to finish what I’ve started, like all of you in the audience, I have to listen to my superiors and leave,” Lee told the crowd of employees in his farewell speech. “I am glad that, during my two years of service, I have been able to accomplish things.”
Lee went on to say that some of the wins include successfully cutting down on drunk driving and increasing inter-departmental team work.
He also thanked all the employees for their hard work.
“I topped the approval ratings among Cabinet members not because of what I’ve done, but because of what you did,” he said.
“All I did was the marketing and advertising,” he added.
Speaking of leaving the post, Lee said that when he was informed of the decision by Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) at noon on Tuesday: “I actually felt relieved.”
“I feel relieved because, from now on, I don’t have to attend legislative meetings, or take questions from reporters. I can instead focus on what I want to do,” he said.
Responding to rumors that he may run in this year’s seven-in-one municipal elections — especially because People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) praised his talents after his departure was announced — Lee said he has no inclination to do so, and is to return to his post at the National Taiwan University as a Department of Civil Engineering professor.
“I paid a visit to the department chair yesterday, and had a good chat with him,” Lee said. “I will finish my last day of work as minister tomorrow, resume my research next week and prepare to teach classes.”
“I’m sure that in a few years I will make some good progress in the academic field, and be able to provide good advice when consulted,” he added.