Government critics yesterday assailed Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) statement on Monday that the administration offered former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) the position of chairman of a state-run enterprise “out of concern” for his family when it asked him to resign.
Jiang said that when administrative officials are suspected of illegal activities, the standard procedure would be to make adjustments to their position which, in Chang’s case, meant removing him from a decisionmaking post.
“However, bearing in mind that he still needs to feed a family, he was offered the position of chairman of a state-run company,” Jiang said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said the government’s proposition was an “abuse of public resources” and showed that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration “has little concern for public suffering and cares only about the rich and the powerful and political machinations.”
“Chang is not the only one who has a family to feed in Taiwan. [The nation’s] economic environment is deteriorating, with unemployment and stagnant wages, but he [Chang] was nonetheless offered a tailor-made, high-ranking position,” Huang said.
Huang added that while the government arranged a position for Chang, who is suspected of leaking information to China and accused of being a spy, it did nothing of the sort for former minister of labor Pan Shih-wei (潘世偉) and former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), who, unlike Chang, were not suspected of any criminal offense.
“So Pan and Tseng have no families to feed?” Huang asked. “This is clearly double standards and biased treatment, which shows that this administration only pays lip service to its much-touted governing in accordance with the law.”
Peter Wang (王獻極), convener of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign, said Jiang’s comment showed his ignorance of public misery.
Chang has at least three luxury apartments, including one in Taipei that is estimated to be worth NT$70 million (US$2.3 million), Wang said.
“With his current assets, he can provide a comfortable living to at least three generations of his family. How is he in need of a job, at the expense of public resources, to feed his family?” Wang asked.
“Many families cannot afford a box of mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival [and] countless unemployed young men have to depend on their parents. The number of homeless people is increasing and they cannot even find a job cleaning toilets to scrape by. A premier that is ignorant of people’s suffering should be kicked out of office,” Wang said.