Cabinet denies reports of premier flying off handle
By Lauly Li ,The China Post
December 4, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Executive Yuan yesterday denied reports that Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) lost his temper during a cross-departmental meeting about developing homegrown talent.
The Cabinet's denial was prompted by local media reports that during the meeting, Jiang had criticized the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) for its lack of efficiency in terms of carrying out policies to retain talented individuals trained in Taiwan.
The reports also quoted Jiang as saying that a report which took the CEPD over 30 minutes to deliver still lacked any practical solutions to deal with Taiwan's talent crisis.
Jiang was also alleged to have said that the proposals put forth by the various departments were not practical enough, noting that “it was not my intention to hold this meeting,” the United Evening News quoted Jiang as saying.
Local commentators and media have said that Jiang's criticism was meant to target recent comments made by CEPD Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) at the Legislative Yuan.
During an interpellation on Monday, to a resolution agreed upon by legislators to cut Kuan's year-end bonus by half, Kuan responded, “As a man, I do not care about year-end bonuses.” Many commentators said Kuan's remark was inappropriate.
Cabinet spokesperson Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文) yesterday evening held a press conference to deny the reports. Cheng said Jiang was not referring to the CEPD but to all departments that attended the meeting.
“He was not targeting the CEPD or Kuan,” Cheng added.
Cheng said that Jiang highly values the importance of retaining domestic talent, and thus decided to hold a cross-departmental meeting to discuss the issue.
Jiang, however, indicated that most of the departments tasked in the endeavor did not make improvements when compared with three months ago, and therefore demanded that all government officials submit another round proposals within one month, Cheng said.
“Should a department encounter any problems in devising policies to attract talented people to stay in-country, they can come to Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) for assistance,” Jiang was quoted by Cheng as saying.
As for the length of the report delivered at the meeting, Cheng said the premier asked all departments to shorten their reports so they could have more time to discuss relevant policies, the spokesperson said.
Cheng said that because the CEPD took over 20 minutes to deliver its report, by the time it had finished, the time was already past noon, preventing the Council of Labor Affairs from having the chance to deliver its own proposals.
Cheng went on to say that Jiang has never lost his temper at any public occasion. “It is normal to demand that government officials meet his standards for the good of the country, but he was not angry at anything,” she added.