The Executive Yuan yesterday withheld from the media materials discussed at the weekly Cabinet meeting.
The move follows the directions given by Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to the Cabinet, dubbed the “big mouth clause,” in which members were asked to exercise self-restraint in speaking publicly on government plans before a policy is set in stone, or if the policy falls outside their jurisdiction.
Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和), Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧), Deputy Minister of Labor Chen I-min (陳益民) and Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Hu Hsing-hua (胡興華) attended a press conference following the meeting in which their policies were discussed.
However, in a departure from usual practice, no materials were available for reporters.
The previous practice was that written reports on related subjects, along with draft bills deliberated on at the Cabinet meeting, have been provided to reporters at media conferences.
Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) admitted later yesterday that a Executive Yuan staff member did not make copies of the materials available to reporters because he was instructed not to.
In response to reporters’ complaints during and after the press conference over the Executive Yuan’s decision to block the routine dissemination of information, Sun defended himself, saying that he was unaware of the previous practice.
Sun apologized for causing an inconvenience to reporters.
Yesterday was the fourth time that Sun has held a press conference after a Cabinet meeting, with materials made available to the press every time before.