Mon, Oct 06, 2014 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: KMT candidate looks for unity in divided Changhua

KEY TO VICTORY:Lin Tsang-min said the KMT must unify its resources to do better in the commissioner race, but put his past wins down to self-reflection as a public servant

By Wu Wei-kung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff Writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Changhua County commissioner candidate Lin Tsang-min (林滄敏) has acknowledged that the party’s resources in the region are still not integrated as the Nov. 29 nine-in-one elections loom closer. However, the KMT legislator said he still felt positive about the race, as he is certain that Changhua Country Commissioner Cho Po-chuan (卓伯源), also of the KMT, will make the “correct” decision and throw his weight behind Lin’s bid.

In an interview with the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), Lin said he would welcome any opportunity to work with Cho, despite speculation that the commissioner is behind the lack of party unity in the county because he is said to favor having Changhua Deputy Commissioner Ko Cheng-fang (柯呈枋) succeed him.

Ko lost to Lin in the party primaries, but insisted on running for commissioner as an independent, as did Nantou County Commissioner Lee Chao-ching’s (李朝卿) wife, Chien Su-tuan (簡素端).

Yet fears of a split were eased on the last day of candidacy registration on Sept. 5, when Ko and Chien dropped out of the race.

In the interview, Lin said that analyzing who has the upper hand in the contest between him and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) is meaningless, saying he will do his best and cultivate support among the region’s electorate, but the voters will be the ones to decide the winner on Nov. 29.

Turning to the county’s towering NT$20 billion (US$657 million) debt, Lin said the overarching aims of his financial policies are to increase the number of funding sources and curb spending.

The county government should continue to spend on what is necessary, such as keeping elementary-school lunches free, while discontinuing funding for “inappropriate” policies, Lin said.

Lin appears to be employing a broad tactic of respecting the Cho administration and refusing to speak ill of the commissioner and his team, with the legislator indicating that he plans to continue many of Cho’s policy measures.

In the area of education, Lin said the county government should simplify the process of sorting student ranks for the 12-year national education program to lessen the burden on students and their parents.

Lin also said that Changhua has a severe population loss problem that the county government must resolve. If elected, Lin said he would raise the newborn child subsidy for parents from NT$10,000 to NT$20,000, as well as establish more public childcare centers.

The KMT candidate also reiterated one of Cho’s promises to establish international-level tourist hotels in the county, adding that with such establishments Changhua can attract more tourists and increase revenue.

Lin has successfully run for the Changhua County Council three times and served three terms as a legislator representing the county without ever losing a race.

Lin said that his electoral success is due primarily to his treating each election as a chance to reflect on how he can improve his service to the public.

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