Full text of Premier Lin Chuan's Cabinet resignation speech

  • Date: 2017-09-07
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Vice premier, secretary-general, ministers without portfolio, heads of ministries and commissions, colleagues at both the central and local governments, ladies and gentlemen:

 

This will be my last Cabinet meeting as premier. As I lay down this heavy burden, I not only feel a sense of relief, but would also like to share some additional thoughts.

 

Upon taking office and forming the Cabinet on May 20, 2016, I was acutely aware of the moment's monumental historical significance. I set out three missions on behalf of the entire Cabinet: The first was to ensure that during the transfer of power, the transition would proceed smoothly, without loss, error or detriment to the people and government of Taiwan. The second was to serve as an anchor for each and every one of President Tsai's policies, to push forward along the proper path as the only way to advance the nation. The third was to guarantee that the president's governing principles, spirit and values achieved full expression in all of our administrative efforts. This is especially true with respect to nonpartisan work, such that regardless of the issue before us, the government would apply the same values and spirit.

 

All of our endeavors, such as our new approach to combating illegal drugs, our clean air strategies to curb pollution, our blueprints for industrial development, and recently the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, were undertaken to achieve a breakthrough in Taiwan's quest over the past two decades to take our rightful place among the world's leading countries. Thanks to your devoted efforts, we can look forward to the day when Taiwan will finally be able to join the ranks of the most advanced nations on Earth.

 

Looking back over the past 15 months, we were confronted with an array of challenges at home and abroad. Externally, the global economic slump and the Brexit decision cast shadows of uncertainty on our economy. Domestically, we grappled with longstanding problems of declining birth rates, a rapidly graying population, and the widening wealth gap. Wages had been stagnant across much of the country, and the government faced a looming fiscal crisis in the national pension system.

 

Tackling these issues proved a difficult test and an arduous task for the administrative team. Yet despite all the challenges, criticism and public misunderstandings, every member of the administrative team worked selflessly and tirelessly to carry out the president's visions, overcoming obstacle after obstacle to deliver solid results.

 

Since taking office on May 20, last year, the administration has changed the overall tone of the nation and improved the economic situation: Unemployment has dropped steadily for more than 10 months while economic indicators are pointing to continued expansion. To boost the economy, we rolled out a raft of stimulus measures that led to increased domestic consumption, steady investment growth, and a noticeable expansion in exports. At the time we took office, Taiwan's economy was expected to grow less than 1 percent in 2016, but in the end it grew by 1.48 percent (compared with 0.72 percent growth in 2015). And, the latest projections from the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics show the economy could grow by as much as 2.11 percent in 2017. The government will maintain a cautiously optimistic outlook on the economy as it continues to push these policies moving forward.

 

We also implemented a number of important policies and programs including the "five plus two" innovative industries as well as the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. The national minimum wage was raised to NT$22,000 (US$731) per month and NT$140 (US$4.65) per hour. We amended the Long-term Care Services Act to ensure the long-term care fund will be sufficient for years to come, and launched the long-term care 2.0 plan to protect disadvantaged groups. The Electricity Act was also amended to liberalize the electricity market and prioritize the development of green energy.

 

To eliminate the scourge of drugs from our communities, we laid out a new-generation anti-drug strategy. To address the worsening air pollution problem, the Environmental Protection Administration proposed medium-term air pollution control measures. Three laws governing various pension schemes were amended to pave the way for national pension reform. And I'm grateful to the Ministry of Finance for conducting a thorough analysis of the income taxation system and crafting proposals for tax reform.

 

These are the fruits of our collective labor, and I'm very proud of everyone here for your efforts. I'd like to take this opportunity to extend my highest respect and gratitude to each member of the administrative team.

 

Government administration resembles a relay race. No matter how well our team performs, how tightly we cooperate, or how well we are doing at this moment, when the time comes, the baton must be passed, and the next runner must give his all to stay in the lead. Only through unstinting effort can we reach the finish line and quickly push Taiwan into the ranks of the most advanced countries in the world.

 

With our present mission now accomplished, the work of governing will advance to the next stage. Among the colleagues gathered here, some will step down, while others will remain hard at work in the Cabinet. I am firmly convinced that when it comes to the task of national transformation, we must strive forward without being affected or disheartened by misinterpretation or criticism from those outside our circle.

 

Whether your future lies within this team or without, or wherever your work takes you, I hope that you will all hold firm and continue to contribute your part to Taiwan. We must carry on with the reform and transformation of the nation, and build a homeland of peace and contentment for the next generation.

 

Allow me again to express my gratitude for all of your efforts over the past year. Your performance fills me with pride. I believe that time will reveal the historic importance of this year's hard work in advancing the nation's future. Thank you all again. I wish you continued good health and every success.