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May 28, 2017

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Ma expresses regret over Chang's departure

TAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday called the departure of former Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) a day earlier regrettable, praising Chang as someone dedicated to his country whose policies had been repeatedly blocked and derided by the opposition.

Speaking at a news conference about the deadly explosions in Kaohsiung last month and Taiwan's economic future, Ma said that Chang's decision to tender his resignation Aug. 7 was a result of "malicious abuse" by an opposition lawmaker in the Legislature.

"I was truly regretful and sorry about this result," Ma said.

Ma and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) had tried to keep Chang on the job. The president said that Jiang reluctantly accepted Chang's resignation on Sunday.

"I must stress that Chang was a good minister who was responsible and resolute," Ma said, noting that since he took up head of the Economics Ministry in February 2013, Chang had focused on the nation's overall economic development, fuel and electricity policies, nuclear power policy and regional economic integration.

Meanwhile, Ma's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) on Monday called for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to restrain party lawmakers from criticizing new Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun (杜紫軍) and forego its "irrational" policy of opposition for opposition's sake.

Chen Yi-hsin, deputy director of the KMT's Culture and Communications Committee and party spokesman, noted that Tsai promised "no political war of words" on Aug. 9, but DPP lawmakers have already begun to criticize Duh on his first day in office.

He pointed to how DPP lawmakers have thrown around the words "evil" and "cold-blooded" to describe Cabinet members and even questioned whether they are "human" — a comment made against former Minister Chang.

Chen urged the DPP's Tsai to restrain lawmakers from improper remarks and accept bipartisan cooperation for the sake of the economy.

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