Premier takes responsibility for discontent

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 05, 2012 - Page 3

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday said he was taking full responsibility for any public discontent with the performance of Cabinet members.

“I assume full responsibility for the successes and failures of the Cabinet,” Chen said.

Chen made the remarks when asked to comment on a proposed idea by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井) that Cabinet members be deprived of their year-end bonus if the economic indicator still flashes a “blue light” by the end of the year.

Liao made the proposal, which would affect about 80 ministers and deputy ministers, at a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee on Wednesday.

The economic indicators flashed a 10th straight “blue light” last month, an indication that the nation’s economy remained in a slowdown.

Chen was asked if he came under a lot of pressure because of the timeframe set by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Sept. 24 tfor the Cabinet to do something to make people feel that the economy is improving.

“We work hard on many fronts. [Ma] did not set us a time limit. Some of our work has already born fruit. Recently, 20 Taiwanese businesspeople [based in China] decided to bring back their capital and make investments amounting to NT$38 billion [US$1.3 billion] in Taiwan,” Chen said.

Meanwhile, in an interview published in the latest issue of the Chinese-language Business Weekly yesterday headlined “I am not a successful premier,” Chen said that being premier was exhausting him because he does not have “a political personality.”

Chen told the magazine that he always tries to understand all aspects of professionalism of an issue to certain extent before he discusses it with Cabinet members and makes a policy decision, which he believes a person who has a strong political personality would never do.

Following the remarks by the magazine that former premiers did not know much about policy because they used policy issues for political gains, Chen said that “from this point of view, I am absolutely not a successful premier.”

“[My lack of a political personality] is why I am exhausted,” Chen said.