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Premier lauds Cabinet after resignation

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Sean Chen officially resigned yesterday, citing words by Theodore Roosevelt to encourage those who are still working in the Cabinet.

Chen said he stepped down from his post due to his declining health.

According to spokesperson Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文), Chen recalled last May when he quoted to President Ma Ying-jeou words from Theodore Roosevelt's “Man in the Arena” speech. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,” Chen said. “He may be covered in blood, sweat and dust but his efforts are what matter, not the critics or those surrounding him.”

Chen added that this did not mean Ma would not need to take other opinions into account, but that he would need to focus attention on where his direction is and have a clear idea of what he believes in.

If the results are good then that's good, but if there are, in fact, no good results, his efforts in the arena should still be recognized, Chen said.

With his resignation, Chen said that some people would leave their posts while others would stay. He encouraged the team to strive for the best, directing all to continue giving support to the next premier, Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).

Chen also reminded the Cabinet team that although he has resigned, Jiang's official swearing-in is slated for Feb. 18. Before that, he said, every administration worker should continue their daily operations. According to the Cabinet's itinerary, Chen will be inspecting the Taipei Police Department and some transportation bureaus today.

He informed the Transportation Ministry to stay especially alert during the holidays as traffic control would be a critical issue. “Minister Mao (毛治國) is a great minister. The Cabinet team should strive to reach the Transportation Ministry's goals of smooth holiday traffic and having none left behind in airports or train stations,” Chen said.

Chen also lauded the Council of Agriculture for keeping commodity prices stable throughout the year, encouraging them to keep up the good work.

Chen thanked those who worked side-by-side with him, finally reminding them to keep a close watch of their health conditions. In response to reporters' questions over what he wanted to do after his resignation, Chen answered that life is similar to a cassette player that has rewind, fast forward, pause and play buttons. “I'd like to press pause for now,” he said.

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Premier Sean Chen, front row center, and his Cabinet take a group picture in the Executive Yuan courtyard, yesterday. This picture was taken as the official resignation of the entire team took effect. Chen asked to resign from the post in late January after he said his health was in decline. (CNA)



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