Premier Su holds first meeting of new Cabinet

  • Date: 2019-01-14
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

The following is an abridged translation of the premier’s remarks.


Vice President Chen, dear colleagues:

Today is our first opportunity to meet together as a Cabinet. Some of you are new to your positions, while others are holdovers from the previous Cabinet. Regardless, you have all agreed to serve the nation and the people, and work hard to move Taiwan forward. I want to express my deep respect to you for joining this team. I harbor great expectations, and I want to thank you all.

I have a few points to report on, and also some requests.

First, we are a team. I ask that you all execute the duties of your offices in a way that reflects well on this team. I want you to continue working on existing tasks, and ensure that they are completed as scheduled. Should you find that something can be done better, more in line with popular sentiment, less likely to draw public ire, or done more efficiently, then that’s the way to do it. I’m also looking forward to simplifying government for the convenience of the people. By simplifying government, I mean to achieve results with less complexity.

Please take complete responsibility for the ministries and agencies you lead. If you come up against an obstacle to getting things done, something that extends beyond the purview of your agency or requires interministerial cooperation, then reach out to a minister without portfolio for help with simplifying the task, so that consensus can be reached more quickly.

Second, when it comes to greater convenience for the public, think about the issue from the perspective of the people. I ask that government officials go out to the front lines so that they can solve problems, not merely identify issues. Problems must be solved.

When it comes to how to do things, don’t just drone on and on and talk about abstract principles. All that’s needed is to identify the issue and describe how you will address it, who will do the work, and when it will be completed. Furthermore, we need to react quickly and take care of things quickly. Whatever we do, the people need to know about it. And not just know about it, but understand and comprehend. Issues need to be made plain, easily understood, and also compelling. We need to take action suited to a new era, and let the public see that we really get things done, and are capable of getting things done.

Third, I suggest that we establish a commission for the central and local governments to coordinate construction. I ask that the ministers without portfolio each adopt several cities and counties—including the six special municipalities—and identify what needs to be done. The central government can ask for support from local governments, and local governments can seek central government help where necessary to solve problems. Issues can first be discussed by the central and local governments at the commission, and if needed can be raised at Cabinet meetings, or taken directly to the heads of ministries to handle. This is how to do things tidily, the logic of solving problems.

Fourth, I’m very hopeful that every minister and agency head can get a firm grasp on their responsibilities, and thoroughly understand the business at hand. Two-plus years into the administration, what issues remain unaddressed, and what projects have been carried out in good faith yet still elicited public discontent? Please move quickly to get things in order and figure out proper solutions, who will take charge, and when it will be finished. If I’m needed to make an announcement onsite, to talk to people, to turn up the volume and highlight our performance, all the better.

In the future, I plan to get out and about. Where it would be better to go out and be seen, I’ll move quickly and resolutely to take my place on the front lines. There are many things that each of you will need to attend to. Some have to do with preventing disease. Some have to do with avoiding threats. Others require you to carry out reforms. Many major projects have dragged on for a long time. I hope that you can do things with a mind toward solving problems for the good of the nation. Where things are already underway, I want no delays. And if a project just isn’t feasible, then say so and waste no more time and energy on it.

Here on our very first day, that’s what I have to say, and I trust that I’ve made myself very clear. Informing the public includes informing the members of the Legislature and legislative caucuses, as they are the ones who will help out. I also have a special request: Don’t let legislators learn about something from the newspapers. It makes all the difference if instead you can apprise them before it shows up in the papers. I’ve served in the Legislature and I understand this very well. Pay more attention to details and right away you’ll get a different response.

All of this comes down to a very unambiguous request: I ask that you move with speed and determination. I want all of us to take care of things as a team. Handle business methodically and impress upon the public what we do. Make sure that the Legislature and national representatives can perceive what we’re doing. We’re all on the same team. Thank you all. Now let’s get to work.