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Interior Minister-designate Liao Feng-te dies of cardiopulmonary failure at age 57

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Interior Minister-designate Liao Feng-te passed away at 9:05. p.m. yesterday at Wan Fang Hospital in suburban Taipei, despite five hours of all-out efforts to resuscitate him after he was rushed to the hospital from a mountain path in Muzha, where he was found unconscious.

Hospital officials announced that Liao, who was earlier connected to a life-supporting ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, died of cardiopulmonary failure at the age of 57.

Liao was found collapsed by hikers at the park near the city’s Wannin Street and Jungong Road at 3:30 p.m. He had no signs of life when paramedics arrived.

After first aid failed to revive him, Liao was rushed to the neighboring Wan Fang Hospital, where he arrived at 4:05 p.m.

Police said that the paramedics described Liao as being “dead on arrival” even before he arrived at Wan Fang Hospital near the 140 Hill Park where Liao was hiking.

But the hospital has refused to pronounce him dead and emergency ward doctors were still trying to revive him late Saturday afternoon.

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou, Vice President-elect Vincent Siew, Chairman Wu Po-hsiung of the Kuomintang, Premier-designate Liu Chao-shuian and other members of the new Cabinet all rushed to the hospital to see Liao, all hoping Liao would be alright.

Shocked to learn of the bad news, Ma returned to the hospital twice in disbelief, asking the hospital to try its best to revive Liao. He also canceled a scheduled dinner party of news media chiefs.

Chairman Wu of the KMT told reporters that “Liao has been really worn out over the past year,” referring to his painstaking efforts in the presidential election campaigns in his capacity as deputy secretary general of the KMT and director of the party’s organizational affairs division.

Speaker of the Legislative Yuan lamented that Liao’s death is a major loss for both the KMT and the nation.

Liao, who had served as director of the opposition Kuomintang’s Organizational Development Committee since 2004, was set to assume the post of interior minister under the KMT administration to be inaugurated May 20.

Liao was a legislator from 1999 to 2005 and director of then Vice President Lien Chan’s office from 1997 to 1999.

Liao was a legislator from 1999 to 2005 and director of then Vice President Lien Chan’s office from 1997 to 1999. He was a key manager of the KMT’s eight successful election campaigns since the party’s Lien Chan lost the presidential election in 2004.

A native of Tungshan Township in the northeastern county of Yilan, Liao won a Ph.D. in history at the National Chengchi University. He used to be a reporter at the Chinese-language China Daily News run by the KMT, and a noted playwright and novelist before starting his political career.

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Interior Minister-designate Liao Feng-te dies of cardiopulmonary failure at age 57
Interior Minister-designate Liao Feng-te’s sudden death sends shock waves through the political community.(The China Post file photo)

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