Premier reluctant to accept MOEA head's resignation
By Lauly Li ,The China Post
August 8, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) yesterday confirmed that Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has received Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch's (張家祝) resignation, noting that Jiang currently is trying to persuade Chang to remain at his post.
Sun said Chang verbally resigned via telephone yesterday morning and cancelled his scheduled public appearances afterward. Jiang attempted to call Chang several times in an attempt to change the minister's mind, but Chang did not answer the calls, Sun said.
The premier yesterday afternoon received Chang's written resignation, Sun said, noting that, as Jiang acknowledges Chang's efforts to benefit Taiwan's economic development over the years, the premier has not approved Chang's resignation.
Jiang feels sorry for Chang, as the minister has been "maliciously" criticized over the Kaohsiung explosions for the past few days, Sun said, adding that the premier hopes Chang can endure the criticism and continue to fight for the nation's economy in the Cabinet.
Presidential Office spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) quoted President Ma Ying-jeou, as saying that the president supports Jiang's decision to attempt to dissuade Chang from leaving his post.
The news of Chang's resignation broke out after he released a press statement to local news outlets yesterday evening. The press statement said that Chang decided to resign from his post over the fatal Kaohsiung blasts.
Chang said he was appointed to be the Central Emergency Operation Center commander after the Kaohsiung blasts occurred on July 31, and he has led officials from multiple ministries in working on rescue operation affairs over the past week.
The economics minister said the question of whether it should be the central government or Kaohsiung City Government that will hold itself accountable over the incident will rely on the fair and just reasoning of relevant authorities.
Chang said that over the past week, several politicians have continued to "manipulate politics" by disseminating untrue information to the public, stressing that Ministry of Economic Affairs officials have been "humiliated," "stigmatized," and "pressured" by the politicians.
The minister said it is "heartbroken" to see some politicians only concerned with their political position in the upcoming elections and not caring about the victims or reconstruction efforts.
Chang's secretary told reporters that Chang will not make a public announcement or go to his office at the MOEA for the next two days.
Vice Minister Follows Chang's Decision
MOEA Vice Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun (杜紫軍) yesterday evening said that he will follow Chang's lead and resign from his post. Duh said he also tendered his written resignation to the Executive Yuan.
When asked if he will accept the offer if the Cabinet asks him to be the economics minister, Duh said he personally does not have any intention to take the office, adding that this is not something he can decide.