Mon, Apr 22, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Mayor Ko rejects Tsai approach report

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, right, and Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Kao Chia-yu participate in a ceremony at the Mazulight exhibition in Taipei’s Nangang District yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday rejected a rumor that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would choose him as a running mate for next year’s presidential election after Chinese-language media on Saturday reported that Tsai had asked Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) to discuss the possibility with Ko.

Chen later on Saturday rejected the report, while Taipei City Government adviser Tsai Pi-ju (蔡壁如) also denied the report.

“Rumors will only be stopped by the wise; I hear strange rumors every day,” Ko told reporters yesterday.

Although Chen’s son works for the Taipei City Government, he has not met with Chen recently and does not know where the rumor came from, Ko said.

“I am doing a good job as Taipei mayor, so I should remain as mayor,” Ko said.

“Frankly speaking, the post of vice president is only a standby position. I can do more as Taipei mayor,” he said.

When asked if his remarks meant that he would not run for president, Ko said he feels “free and at ease, and can come and go as he wants,” so “if everyone is doing their job properly, then they should continue doing so, but if not, then we will see about” a presidential bid.

When asked about Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who is nearly 70, seeking the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) nomination and whether his age was a factor, Ko said that mental age is more important than physical age.

There are many differences between running a corporation and a government, Ko said.

There are many obstructions to implementing government policies, Ko said.

Unlike in business, where leaders can fire employees as they wish, public servants have the “iron rice bowl” (鐵飯碗) — an idiom that refers to an occupation with guaranteed job security — so the head of the government has to lead like a religious master, trying to persuade them, he said.

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