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No-confidence vote against Taiwan Cabinet 'will of public'

Publication Date : 21-09-2012


“The no-confidence vote against the Cabinet led by Premier Sean Chen, initiated by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is in-line with public sentiment,” Wang Chien-shien, president of the government watchdog Control Yuan, said at a media luncheon yesterday morning.

Wang said he came to believe this by putting himself in the shoes of the people and “with love in mind,” aiming to stimulate Cabinet officials to improve their performance.

He noted that both the Philippines and Indonesia used to enjoy economic prosperity, but now both countries have to rely on homebound remittances by their nationals working abroad to support domestic spending. Wang added that Taiwan is likely to suffer a similar fate if it fails to revive economic development.

To improve the government's performance, the Cabinet should be reshuffled and government officials should drop bureaucratic politics.

“They should not seclude themselves from the outside world,” Wang said.

He stressed that unless bureaucratic politics within the administration can be dealt with and reformed, no matter how many times a Cabinet is reshuffled, it will make little headway.

The DPP's move is unlikely to succeed as the Kuomintang (KMT) enjoys a comfortable majority in the 113-seat Legislature. But the opposition will score a victory in helping the people vent their discontent over the government's poor performance, according to Wang.

He said that although Chen's Cabinet was formed just months ago, its overall poor performance has made the public feel that a shake-up is in order, adding that even staunch supporters of the pan-blue camp have also called for a Cabinet reshuffle.

Wang stressed that what counts most for Cabinet ministers is to have the guts to “do the right thing,” and officials under the ministers should also engage in reforms and shed their bureaucratic ways.

He also criticised government officials for formulating policy in “their own ivory towers,” and for “having no love for others.”

As an example, he mentioned the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation, a charity that provides accommodations to patients in a vegetative state who come from a low-income background. The charity needs to provide one toilet for every six patients, which means there are 10 toilets for 60 patients, according to the regulations of the Ministry of the Interior, Wang said. He added that bedridden patients will not use the toilets and foundation employees probably only need two toilets.

The ministry has ignored reality and yet is insisting on not changing its unrealistic rules governing charity groups, Wang said.

KMT lawmakers yesterday vowed to vote down the DPP's no-confidence motion, which is set to be held Saturday.

Lawmaker Fei Horng-tai said that the vote is a kind of confrontation between the two major parties, and therefore all KMT lawmakers will consolidate their power to block the proposal.

Fellow KMT lawmaker Wu Yu-sheng, convener of the party's legislative caucus, said the entire Cabinet is gearing up to promote a string of economic stimulus measures, and that President Ma Ying-jeou has completed a reshuffle of key ministers of foreign and mainland China affairs.

But some KMT lawmakers said that the no-confidence vote is different from dissatisfaction with the Cabinet's economic and financial officials. Accordingly, while determined to vote down the no-confidence motion, KMT lawmakers also demanded that those in Cabinet responsible for the weak economic conditions be reshuffled within three months.

On another front, the DPP launched online ads to promote the Cabinet reshuffle as a way to ensure the best future for the local economy.


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