The China Post news staff
TAIPEI, Taiwan — People may visit Zion Park near Taipei’s Wan Fang Hospital today to pay their last tribute to Liao Feng-te, minister interior-designate who died of cardiopulmonary failure Saturday. Liao collapsed while hiking on a hill near his home in Muzha and was pronounced dead after five hours of emergency treatment at Wang Fang. He was 57. Mrs. Liao said yesterday the remains of her husband still remained at Wan Fang, but an altar has been set up at the Life Memorial Hall at Zion Park, where admirers may visit starting at 10 a.m. An organizing committee for the funeral will be formed today, while no date has been set for the interment. Located on Wolong Street in north Taipei, Zion Park is not far away from Wan Fang, where Liao was taken for emergency treatment.
Kuomintang lawmakers extended condolences to the bereaved family. All were greatly saddened by the unexpected demise of their former colleague. Liao was a member of the Legislative Yuan from 2002 to 2005. They said Liao had worked too hard for their party. As Kuomintang director of organization, Liao managed successful election campaigns to help the party win a virtual three-fourths majority in the Legislative Yuan and get Ma Ying-jeou elected president. “He truly worked too hard,” said Chi Kuo-tung, a veteran Kuomintang legislator. His colleague Lee Chia-chin said Liao “paid too little attention to his own health, while working too hard for the party.” “All of us regret that he had to depart us before he could work for the good of the people as minister of the interior,” said Wang Jin-pyng, president of the Legislative Yuan. Liu Chao-shiuan, premier-designate, said his Cabinet colleagues should take care not to work hard but to work smart. Otherwise, they may ruin their health by overwork. Lin Fang-yue, minister of health-designate, is urging his new colleagues to regularly take physical examinations. So is Chan Chi-hsien, Kuomintang deputy secretary-general and former superintendent of the Chi Mei Hospital in Tainan. A cardio-surgeon, Lin said the premier-designate and new Cabinet ministers have to undergo regular tests to find out if there is something wrong with their health. While the Kuomintang was in power, top government officials were required to take regular physical checkups. No one was required to do so after 2000. Cabinet ministers work under great stress. “They should take regular physicals,” Chan said. “In particular,” Chan added, “our president-elect has to take time out for rest. He works too hard.” The president-elect does not think right to talk about Liao’s successor now, his spokesman Lo Chih-chiang said. Lo refused comment, when asked if Ma knew Liao had a heart condition. “We have nothing to say on press reports,” he added. Media reported Liao was hospitalized for heart trouble for a week. When his new post was announced, Liao was still in hospital, where he said he received treatment for gout.