Premier Simon Chang (張善政) said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration that is to take office on Friday next week should not make people feel “that it came back to seek revenge,” a remark which the DPP said showed how much the nation needs a change of administration.
In an interview published yesterday in the Chinese-language China Times, Chang asked the incoming government to concentrate on boosting the economy and industrial development in its first two years in power.
“Completing transitional justice and curriculum guidelines while letting the economy and industries continue to falter would make the public feel that the government is seeking revenge,” he was quoted as saying.
The premier said that such policy initiatives “are not productive,” and the government should make enhancing productivity its priority and suspend its ideological agenda.
He called on the pan-blue and pan-green camps to “cast off brainwashing ideas” and allow history to be viewed through diverse paradigms.
“Differing narratives from a variety of historical viewpoints should be provided, so that young people can develop critical thinking and be capable of judgement. People should discover their opinions for themselves,” he said.
Germany’s objective presentation of history should be looked up to as an example, Chang said, adding that young Taiwanese could not stand to have their brains rewired every four or eight years.
DPP spokesperson Ruan Jhao-syong (阮昭雄) said that changes of administration within a democracy are a manifestation of citizens’ power and values, “rather than hate and opposition.”
“The premier’s remarks and attitude precisely confirm the need for a change of administration,” he said. “It is exactly because the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] failed in the past eight years and deeply disappointed Taiwanese that the public chose a new direction.”
With regards to Chang’s calls for economy-galvanizing and innovation-encouraging policies, Ruan said that the DPP has plans to establish five main innovation and development projects as part of a long-term strategy to boost industry, and would proactively participate in international economic and trade agreements to implement its “new southbound policy.”
“The most pressing issues, such as pension reforms, residential justice and long-term care services will also be the future government’s focus,” he added.
As far as Chang’s comments that policies aimed at improving society are “unproductive,” Ruan said transitional justice is “a lesson to be faced by any nation that recently transformed into a democracy, and is what the public are anticipating and the DPP promised to society.”
“How the KMT has dealt with the curriculum guidelines is exactly why now so much effort has to be exerted and why society has stalled,” he said.
The premier’s distortion of the effort to counter the government’s alterations to the guidelines as “unproductive” and his negative remarks about transitional justice are “not worthy of respect,” Ruan added.