Sun, Apr 14, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Han’s standard for presidency is ‘nonsense,’ Ko says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday criticized as “nonsense” a speech that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) made in the US about Taiwan’s next president needing to make the nation safe and prosperous.

“Whoever can make Taiwan safe and the people rich will be an extraordinary president,” Han said on Thursday to Taiwanese living in Boston, before he doubled down on the remark to reporters in Los Angeles on Friday.

“Anyone who becomes the next Republic of China [ROC] president has the responsibility — the sacred responsibility — of ensuring that the ROC is very safe,” he said, adding that many people are worried about the future of Taiwan, that it might become more dangerous.

“The next president must let Taiwanese earn money, because the people have scratched together a scanty livelihood over the past two or three years, especially low and middle-income households — they are facing great difficulty,” Han said.

The standard for the next president should be the ability “to make Taiwan safe and the people rich,” Han added.

Asked about Han’s standard for the presidency while participating in the Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage (大甲媽祖遶境), Ko said that national security and prosperous citizens are good goals, but that most people in Taiwan recognize the nation’s issues — so they do not need someone to explain them again — but need someone to resolve the problems.

“Taiwan safety — nonsense — what can we do without safety?” he said. “Being rich makes things easier — a better livelihood can resolve economic and defense problems, so it [Han’s standard] is a goal. The problem is how to achieve it.”

Asked what qualities would make an extraordinary president, Ko said that strong execution ability is crucial and that Taiwan needs lean management, and a leadership approach that supports continuous improvement and the minimization of waste.

Before he became mayor, the Taipei City Government implemented the budget with only 66 percent efficiency, he said, adding that it had improved to 81 percent by 2017.

Ko said that he has green-lighted a performance evaluation of how Taipei’s budget is implemented, as implementation efficiency not only considers how much of the budget has been used, but also the ratio of spending to value created.

The government’s most urgent task is to improve the efficiency of Taiwan, Ko added.

Additional reporting by CNA

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