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United Daily News: Cabinet of scholars fails under scrutiny

United Daily News: Cabinet of scholars fails under scrutiny

President Ma Ying-jeou has shown that he likes to invite people from the academic field to serve in the Cabinet over his six years in office. The ratio of scholars serving in the Cabinet has been the highest in history, but the ratio of these "scholar " Cabinet members leaving their posts due to image problems or policy controversies has also been the highest. Former Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling and former Labor Minister Pan Shih-wei were the latest cases this month. The former stepped down amid an academic scandal and the latter resigned in connection with alleged affairs with a female subordinate. Such a high ratio has destroyed the traditional image of a scholar and raised questions about the president's ability to gauge people's professionalism and character and put them in the right post. The president has cherished these scholars because of their professional expertise and their outstanding characters. Otherwise, he would only have to pick them from the technocrats. What makes us angry is these scholars have not conscientiously put their mind to work to try to help raise the Ma administration's low approval rating, but they used their power in other matters. Ma's choice of Cabinet members have relied too much on the recommendations of the academic heavyweights in the blue camp. Thus, the channel of picking out talent tends to be narrow, leading to a lack of innovative thoughts in performance. This has also been reflected in the Cabinet's poor ability to defend its policies and its lacking of guts. We have reminded the Ma administration that some scholars accept the invitation to serve in the Cabinet because they want to get credentials. Such a trend could compromise the quality of policies and will not help build the ethics of accountability. These scholars will also need a considerable amount of time to get versed in their work and a lot of them return to teaching after they leave their post, without bringing too much new concepts and approach to the administration. We urge the president to think carefully about who recommended these scholars with questionable character to him. In the less than two years he has in office, can he still afford to nominate more scholars to serve as interns in the Cabinet? (Editorial abstract -- July 25, 2014) (By Lilian Wu) Endtiem/cs


Updated : 2021-06-23 07:25 GMT+08:00