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May 28, 2017

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Cabinet denies operating backroom deal hiring

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) yesterday denied speculation of the Kuomintang (KMT) recruiting the party's Culture and Communications Committee Deputy Chief Yin Wei's (殷瑋) wife to the Cabinet through a "black-box" operation.

Following the exit of the Sunflower Movement in April, the Executive Yuan said the younger generation's proficiency in utilizing new media has inspired it to form a "new media" team.

Sun previously explained that the Cabinet will recruit five to six young adults to form the team, aiming to promote the government's policies in the future by using the "younger generation's language" via modern technologies.

Local news outlet Apple Daily on Monday published an article claiming that the team recruitment process is undisclosed, and yet Yin's wife Yeh Nai-yu (葉乃瑜) has already passed the first phase of recruitment.

Commentators speculated that the reason behind Yeh's consideration is her husband's connections to the ruling party headquarters. Many have also argued that the government is attempting to form a "netizen army" to monitor netizen's comments on the Internet.

In response, Sun said the recruitment process is confidential and Yeh did pass the oral test for the recruitment, adding that the Executive Yuan has not yet finalized its decision to recruit anyone.

Sun stressed that there is no such thing as a backroom deal in the recruitment process, adding that Yeh is a qualified candidate and her suitability has nothing to do with Yin's position in the KMT.

The spokesman further denied speculation of a "netizen army," saying that people are overestimating the government. "If we really want to monitor people, we could just spend some money and ask a company to do it for us," Sun said, adding that people are overthinking the subject.

When asked why the Cabinet would not disclose the recruitment information to the public to find more qualified candidates in the nation, Sun responded by saying that a government official has to be hired via an open recruitment process but that the members of the new media team are not government officials.

Yeh yesterday posted on Facebook that the speculation was groundless, as she did not even know whether or not she has been hired.

Yeh said she previously resigned from her post at the Presidential Office because of the position her husband was to take up. She said if she really wanted to "rely" on her husband's political connections then she would not have needed to quit her job.

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