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September 25, 2017

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DPP blames system for Huang's resignation

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In response to China Medical University President Huang Jong-tsun's (黃榮村) resignation over criticism from lawmakers, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials blamed the government's system that allowed "double-pay."

Amid speculation that Huang — a retired education minister who also took the post of a private school president — received double-pay, lawmaker Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) criticized him for serving as a "door-god," or an honorary position within the China Medical University to raise the profile of the school.

Offended by Chen's words, Huang quickly tendered his resignation as a defensive act to protest the malicious criticism and safeguard the image and reputation of China Medical University, according to Huang.

Chen said yesterday, "My intention was not to target him. I just wanted to point out the problems of the system."

The double-pay system refers to a policy that allows some retired military personnel, civil servants and public school teachers to teach at private schools after retirement, where they receive both state retirement pensions and regular salaries at the same time.

Chen added, "I don't wish this incident to expand into a political issue. The problem of retired government officials later getting employed at private universities is a serious thing, especially during this sensitive time when the government is trying to reform our pension system."

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that he was sorry this incident had to end this way. "I am sure Chen was just trying to point out the problems of the double-pay system," Su said, "The Cabinet denied the Education Ministry's proposal in making amendments to the public schoolteacher retirement laws. It is their fault."

According to the Education Ministry, the amendments state that retired government personnel who later are employed in private facilities can only receive 40 percent of their initial retirement.

DPP lawmaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) added that there must be a change in the teacher retirement systems. "Some government officials are really talented leaders who can bring the school to a better place. Chen's words were unintentional and Huang shouldn't react so angrily. Huang's resignation is a loss to China Medical University."

Huang reportedly said that his resignation was meant to be a "distant warning" to the DPP members. "I believe that universities are the final stronghold for social justice. I do not wish to see the dignity of academics be trampled by ignorant words," he said.

Some professors and students crowded in the campus yesterday in support of Huang after hearing of his resignation. Students held banners that read, "We need you, President Huang." Many professors also remarked that Huang's hard work has lifted the school's rankings in recent years. "How can you call him a door-god when he has done so much," they said.

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