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Interior minister says he shares same beliefs with premier

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) yesterday said that he shares the same beliefs with Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) in terms of policy executions, noting that if a government official holds different ideas with his superior, then the official should just leave.

Lee's comment came after the premier appeared in a televised interview on Sunday evening saying that if a Cabinet member's temporary transfer expires soon, or the member wishes to resign over personal health conditions, then the Cabinet will reshuffle personnel appropriately.

Although both Jiang and Lee had denied holding grudges against each other, speculation has been ongoing since Lee attempted to handle the Cingjing land over-use issue in November.

During the televised interview, Jiang said usually it is more appropriate to make personnel adjustments while the Legislative Yuan is in recess, noting that he currently does not have any adjustment plans.

Given that the current legislative session ends on Jan. 14 and Lee's temporary transfer as the Interior minister will terminate in March 2014, Jiang's comment on Sunday raised questions as to whether or not Lee will be moved to another agency in a possible Cabinet reshuffle before or after the Chinese New Year.

MOI Minister Responds

In response to the speculation, Lee said he always considers that officials are only temporarily employed by the government, so every day he works as if it is his last day in office.

Lee noted, however, that the rumor that he will be reassigned “is rather disturbing,” as it would foster an uncertain atmosphere among the Cabinet members. He went on to say that although it is the premier's right to nominate Cabinet members, it is not good to “open a rice cooker while cooking.”

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