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Premier's reported anger sparks speculation

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Reports about Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) losing his temper during Cabinet meetings have sparked speculation that he may be losing control over his ministers.

On Tuesday, Jiang reportedly chastised Kuan Chung-ming, minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, for his remarks about not caring about stepping down or losing his year-end bonus when confronted by lawmakers who questioned his performance.

The premier again showed his anger at various departments in Thursday's Cabinet meeting, reports claim.

Such reports have prompted speculation that the premier is finding himself in a similar position to that of his predecessor Sean Chen, who saw his Cabinet members ignore him and report directly to President Ma Ying-jeou.

But the United Evening News cited a high-level source from the government as dismissing these reports.

The source claimed Jiang did not particularly criticize Kuan during the Tuesday meeting, and Jiang dismissed the report about him losing his temper in the Thursday meeting, stressing that he is not the kind of person who gets angry easily.

But the source blamed some Cabinet members for sending out misinformation that generated the rumors. He described these Cabinet members as being eager to defend themselves and apt to discredit others.

“They should exercise restraint,” the source was cited as saying, referring to these unnamed ministers without identifying them.

The paper cited another Cabinet source as saying that the premier is not singling out any of the ministers in his recent remarks, but instead is calling on the members of the government to adjust their bureaucratic mentality.

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