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President's lack of days off draws attention

President's lack of days off draws attention

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) The minister of the Central Personnel Administration (CPA) advised President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday to take a vacation, with Presidential Office records showing he has yet to take a day off since taking power in May.
Chen Ching-hsiou suggested the president take time off on a regular basis to maintain his physical strength, citing the practice of the U.S. president, who regularly spends weekends at Camp David.
Chen said the CPA is working on regulations that would grant Taiwan's president, vice president and premier at least seven days off a year, as no existing law on public servants sets vacation time for senior officials.
The issue sparked a predicably partisan debate at the Legislative Yuan.
The legislative caucus of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) urged the president to push himself to pay attention to his health.
"We really hope our president will be in a good shape, " said KMT lawmaker Chang Sho-wen. "If his (Ma's) health is in trouble, it means our country has trouble." Legislator Lai Ching-te of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party countered that the plan to encourage the president to take a break as standard "ass-kissing." "It is hard to imagine that government officials would be concerned about whether or not Ma takes time off at a time when most people are worried about losing their jobs and are having trouble staying afloat," Lai argued.
A Presidential Office official countered that the issue was not about whether the president can legally take time off, as existing regulations do not explicitly prevent him from doing so, but whether Ma would even be willing to take a break.
The president is the one who is not willing to take leave even for one day, the official said, adding: "It would be meaningless to let him have seven days off." (By Elizabeth Hsu)




Updated : 2020-11-30 01:16 GMT+08:00