Ma and I try not to let each other down: Jiang
By Lauli Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said Tuesday that he has no problem with the president in terms of communication, adding that “the president and I are trying not to let each other down.”
August 15, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
In a televised interview, Jiang said that when it comes to major policymaking, President Ma Ying-jeou and he exchange opinions, discuss every detail of the implementation of a policy and make decisions together.
Jiang said a premier's duty is to assist the government in implementing policies and achieving beneficial change, while at the same time being responsible to both the Legislature and to the president.
Interaction between the president and the premier is crucial, Jiang said, adding that he and Ma share similar personalities and communication skills, and therefore understand each other.
Sometimes the Kuomintang (KMT) and government departments will participate in the government's decision-making process, Jiang said; however, President Ma and he are the final decision makers.
“We are both aware of our roles, and know each other's expectations.”
Relations with the Legislature
Jiang said the Legislature's negotiation mechanism, the interaction between the ruling party and opposition, and the way legislators solve disputes are “not ideal for a lot of people.”
The premier said he “gets along” with KMT legislators and party members, noting that when the Cabinet encountered difficulties with the stock gains tax, the cross-strait service trade pact and the 12-year compulsory education, the KMT supported the Cabinet.
Jiang added, however, that even though the Cabinet has the KMT's support, some policies still face challenges in the Legislative Yuan, referring to legislative boycotts and other disruptive tactics by opposition lawmakers. “There should be a mechanism for ruling party and opposition legislators to discuss their differences rationally,” the premier said, adding that otherwise the country will “consume itself with endless domestic disputes.”
Challenges to the Cabinet
The premier said that since he took the office six months ago, the Cabinet has been dealing with major issues such as the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, the Philippine Coast Guard shooting incident, the demolitions of four homes in Miaoli County and the death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu.
“Challenges and crisis have been coming one after another without giving the Cabinet sufficient time to handle them,” he said, adding that it is like “walking in an endless storm.”
“However, as long as there is hope inside our hearts, the Cabinet will brace for the challenges and keep walking,” Jiang said.
Electricity Rate Hike in October
Asked about the electricity rate increase scheduled for October, Jiang said that the electricity rate “definitely needs to be adjusted.”
Jiang said the price of electricity in Taiwan has not reflected its actual cost for a long time, noting that if the government does not adjust the rate, then “even God could not operate Taipower.”
The premier said he supports the idea that “the more electricity you use, the more money you should pay.” However he noted that the government will consider the influence of a price hike to people and is mulling whether to make minor adjustments to the policy.